As we go to press at around 2 p.m. on Super Tuesday (and we are referring to the day of the presidential primary elections, not the parade for the New York Giants in Manhattan), we have no idea who will emerge as winners, if anyone does, come Wednesday morning.
But we have to say we have already discovered the most ingenious – or perhaps most egregious – commercial tie-in to the political elections. It arrived in our electronic in-box on Hangover Monday, February 4.
The E-mail explains that the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) "has launched an online, non-scientific survey at www.whodoyouwanttohaveabeerwith.com to answer the question, `Which of the presidential candidates would you like to have a beer with in 2008?’
"Throughout the primary season, voters of drinking age can cast their `ballot’ at www.whodoyouwanttohaveabeerwith.com or www.nbwa.org. The site shows in real-time the percentage of votes that each candidate has received, as well as video of interviews with voters in the early primary states about how they selected which candidates they would like to have a brew with."
The E-mail quoted the president of the beer wholesalers’ trade group, Craig Purser: "With all of the rigors of a campaign – attack ads, phone calls, direct mail – Americans know sometimes it just comes down to who you want to have a beer with. We hope this campaign reminds voters that at the end of the day, while issues are very important, so is conversation, civility, and character. And that’s what the campaign season is all about ."
We promise to drink to that.
As the commentary above proves, you never know what kind of communication is going to turn up in the printed pages of U.S. 1. Another example is this week’s cover story, which began with an angry E-mail swipe at Mathematica Policy Research, our neighbors on Alexander Road.
The letter writer castigated the Princeton research organization for its recently published survey results on the question of teen sexual behavior. The research was biased, the critic claimed, and Mathematica was trying to support its own liberal position on the question of whether or not teenagers could be encouraged to abstain from sexual behavior altogether, rather than to have access to contraceptives.
Barbara Fox approached Mathematica for comment, and learned that a new CEO was about to take over the reins of the nearly 600-employee operation. With that a small news item turned into a cover story, which begins on page 41 of this issue.
And that prompts us to repeat our longtime advice to anyone considering whether or not they should send us any piece of information: "When in doubt, send it out."