I always feel like somebody's watching me...and I have no privacy!
May 21, 2004 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Barack Obama has a stalker. "For the past 10 days, U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama hasn't been able to go to the bathroom or talk to his wife on his cell phone without having a camera-toting political gofer from his Republican rival filming a few feet away." Jack Ryan, the Republican candidate for the Senate, has assigned a campaign staffer to film everything Obama, a current Illinois state senator, says and does while he's in Springfield. Ryan's spokeswoman says this is "a normal way for us to make sure that his message is being consistent in both parts of the state." (Chicago Tribune link, registration required) But isn't this going just a little too far?
posted by SisterHavana (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The easy answer to this is to play the shoe on the other foot game. If Hilary Clinton had hired a guy to follow Rick Lazio around constantly, what would the media reaction have been like?
posted by Space Coyote at 3:22 PM on May 21, 2004


Jack Ryan?
posted by brownpau at 3:23 PM on May 21, 2004


Time to order catering for Judge Reinhold.
posted by inksyndicate at 3:27 PM on May 21, 2004


For the past 10 days, U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama hasn't been able to go to the bathroom or talk to his wife on his cell phone without having a camera-toting political gofer from his Republican rival filming a few feet away.
What, is the Ryan campaign expecting Obama to begin delivering policy speeches while taking a shit?

Warfel interrupted Obama several times with heckling questions, but wouldn't respond when reporters asked him about who he was and why he was filming Obama's every move.
Happy Gilmore, anyone?

This is pretty creepy.
posted by punishinglemur at 3:31 PM on May 21, 2004


The easy answer to this is to play the shoe on the other foot game. If Hilary Clinton had hired a guy to follow Rick Lazio around constantly, what would the media reaction have been like?

Probably much the same way. The press has frequently been willing to play the Clintons as corrupt insiders willing to do anything to get an edge in elections.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:37 PM on May 21, 2004


Simple solution: hire a camera crew to follow Justin Warfel around 24 hours a day. Make sure he won't be able to go to the bathroom or talk to Jack Ryan on his cell phone without having cameras filming him a few feet away. And every time Warfel opens his mouth, have the crew interrupt and heckle him. Post the accumulated footage to followingjustinwarfel.com on a daily basis.
posted by monosyllabic at 3:39 PM on May 21, 2004


Hell, I think all our elected officials should have a stalker like this. Openness in government.
posted by keswick at 3:39 PM on May 21, 2004


Hasn't this guy considered getting a restraining order?
posted by bshort at 3:41 PM on May 21, 2004


eh, keswick, that's a little ridiculous. i'm all for as transparent a government as possible, but i think there still is lots of room for respecting individual privacy. this "documentation" shows no signs of respect at all.

hopefully, these sleazy tactics will backfire.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:50 PM on May 21, 2004


What kind of fool is Jack Ryan? Does he actually think this is going to endear him to even his most die-hard followers?
posted by rks404 at 4:15 PM on May 21, 2004


I just saw this on the local (Chicago) news. They showed video of this guy literally following two feet behind Obama going up some stairs in the state house. I'd call that invading personal space, for sure.
posted by AstroGuy at 4:22 PM on May 21, 2004


Hear, hear, keswick, I wholeheartedly agree. Especially if the cost is footed by their rivals and not by the taxpayers.
posted by jonson at 4:23 PM on May 21, 2004


coming soon: "Obama Bin Laden" attack ads

re: "Jack Ryan"
Tom Clancy's story ideas are getting lamer and lamer.
posted by matteo at 4:23 PM on May 21, 2004


What kind of fool is Jack Ryan?

At one point he was president. This story would be way cooler if Ryan gets fired after looking for more dollars and they replace him with a more expensive, older option.
posted by yerfatma at 4:26 PM on May 21, 2004


It seems to be becoming a common practice among Republicans to do this to their opponents. It's all a hope to catch them doing something stupid. There was a story recently in the Kansas City free weekly paper about a Missouri rep doing the same thing to his opponents.
posted by jmauro at 4:50 PM on May 21, 2004


This is going to double-reverse-backfire on Ryan when Obama:
1. Kicks the shit out of this kid.
2. Wins in a lanslide not depsite of, but because of, the aforementioned ass-kicking.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:53 PM on May 21, 2004


This is sleazy. Can we all agree this is sleazy?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:40 PM on May 21, 2004


What, is the Ryan campaign expecting Obama to begin delivering policy speeches while taking a shit?

well, punishinglemur, i think the people have a right to know if a candidate's shit is consistent. no one wants a constipated Senator.
posted by NationalKato at 5:42 PM on May 21, 2004


TPM: The Ryan campaign, it seems, has decided to cut its losses.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:20 AM on May 22, 2004


Sorry, kids, fun time is over, and Jack Ryan has called off the stalker.

I'm met these trackers before. Normally they are discreet and appear no different from a normal rally-goer who wants to "record the moment," just a little more quiet and less enthusiastic. They're supposed to record public statements in order that the opposing campaign has its own record of the other candidate's gaffes or inconsistencies. It's not supposed to be a goon squad or a means of harassing the candidate.

On another website, commenters were posting the phone number and address of the stalker. I shall refrain, now that he has been called off.
posted by deanc at 12:21 AM on May 22, 2004


Every day I am appreciating more my Southern ancestors, seceding from the Leviathan that betrayed the Constitutional Republic. They could smell the National Security State coming 80 years in the future.
posted by crunchburger at 1:29 AM on May 22, 2004


Has crunchburger lost it or has he always been like this?
posted by Space Coyote at 1:43 AM on May 22, 2004


Has Space Coyote always had no sense of sarcasm, or does he have a name based on a shitty Simpsons episode?
posted by interrobang at 2:10 AM on May 22, 2004


what would the media reaction have been like?

has Space Coyote always had his worldview defined by "the media", or was he raised by a television set?
posted by quonsar at 2:25 AM on May 22, 2004


Take that back, interrobang. That episode is awesome.
posted by graventy at 5:21 AM on May 22, 2004


"hopefully, these sleazy tactics will backfire." (mrgrimm) - I say they already have. But I hope Jack "psycho-stalker" Ryan loses because he seems like a Ken-doll .
posted by troutfishing at 5:21 AM on May 22, 2004


I can't wait to see what they've got on Obama....
posted by Durwood at 5:29 AM on May 22, 2004


Take that back, interrobang. That episode is awesome.

Best.Edna.Krabappel.Ever.
posted by y2karl at 7:21 AM on May 22, 2004


Any episode with the phrase "the Pope of Chili Town" falls on the "brilliant" side of the fence.
posted by o2b at 12:14 PM on May 22, 2004


Just how low can Republicans...oh, wait, never mind these are Republicans we are talking about.
posted by Bag Man at 3:34 PM on May 22, 2004


I can't wait to see what they've got on Obama....

What, has this guy been following him around for his entire life?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:30 PM on May 22, 2004


A Republican campaign using sleazeball tactics? I'm so shocked.
posted by clevershark at 11:21 PM on May 22, 2004


I can't wait to see what they've got on Obama....

A whole lot of dirt came out in the primaries, including Obama's alleged use of cocaine. When this dirt came out Obama dealt with well and it didn't seem to hurt him at the polls (he kicked butt in a crowded field).

Then again, I want to know what's inside Ryan's sealed divorce papers. I'm sure with a wife like 7 of 9 there's some pretty juicy stuff.
posted by Bag Man at 4:03 PM on June 6, 2004


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