Republican candidate videotaping his opponent 24/7

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.

In what has to be a first in Illinois politics, Republican Jack Ryan has assigned one of his campaign workers to record every movement and every word of the state senator while he is in public.

That means Justin Warfel, armed with a handheld Panasonic digital camcorder, follows Obama to the bathroom door and waits outside. It means Warfel follows Obama as he moves from meeting to meeting in the Capitol. And it means Warfel tails Obama when he drives to his campaign office.

“It’s standard procedure to record public speeches and things like that,” Obama told reporters as the bald, 20-something operative filmed away. “But to have someone who’s literally following you a foot and a half away, everywhere you go, going into the restrooms, standing outside my office, sitting outside of my office asking my secretary where I am, seems to be getting a little carried away.”

I heard this on TV, I forgot to look for it online, good stuff.


While having someone follow your opponent 24/7 might provide you the opportunity for some good “He said X but did Y” campaign ads, I can’t see how it would do anything but help your opponent.

Firstly, obviously having someone follow you around like that would only make a smart person be more careful about what they say, providing less opportunity for comments to be made that one could really use against you.

Secondly, no matter what that Republican has on you, you can play the emotional “Would you like to have people watching you all the time? How about people looking at your records? Where is your right to privacy? My opponent and his party feels there’s no such thing, is that what you want?” card to counter it.