NPR : News

One Clue To Romney's Veep Pick: Whose Wiki Page Is Getting The Most Edits?

Tech President reminds us that one way to possibly figure out who will be a vice presidential pick is to watch the various contenders' Wikipedia pages in the days before such an announcement is likely.

In 2008, as The Washington Post wrote at the time, "just hours before [Sen. John] McCain declared his veep choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her Wiki page saw a flurry of activity, with editors adding details about her approval rating and husband's employment. ... Palin's entry was updated at least 68 times, with at least an additional 54 changes made to her entry over the preceding five days."

Meanwhile, the Post said, "on Aug. 22, the day before the Obama campaign officially named [then-Sen. Joe] Biden as the veep pick, Biden's Wiki page garnered roughly 40 changes. Over the five days prior, users would make at least 111 other changes to his entry."

The obvious — in hindsight — implications of the Wiki activity: Aides were going into the entries to tune them up and clean out any material that was either embarrassing or erroneous.

So what's going on now with some of those said to be among the leading possibilities to be joining Mitt Romney on the Republican ticket?

-- Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's Wiki page has been revised 16 times so far today, by someone called "River8009."

-- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's Wiki page has been revised nine times so far today and 11 times from Aug. 2-6.

-- Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Wiki page has been tweaked four times today.

-- Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's Wiki page has been edited once today, and 11 times from Aug. 2-6.

-- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's Wiki page hasn't been edited today, but was revised eight times from Aug. 3-4.

-- New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Wiki page has not been touched today. It was last revised on July 28.

-- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Wiki page hasn't been revised since July 24.

Of course, somebody who knows about the 2008 Wiki tea leaves may just be messing with our minds.

And, as Tech President also noted, in 2004 it was "an obscure aviation website" that noticed a John Kerry campaign plane had been repainted to include the name Edwards. And that's how word that then-Sen. John Edwards would be the Democratic vice presidential pick first broke.

For more on the 2012 campaign, see It's All Politics.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

More than 80 percent of people in South Korea live in cities. But in the past few years, there has been a shift. Tens of thousands of South Koreans are relocating to the countryside each year.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Republicans Warn Of High Energy Costs With Obama's 'Clean Power Plan'

Republican leaders in Virginia say Obama's clean energy plan would drive up energy costs and damage a struggling economy. Democrats say saving the planet is more important than the short-term problem of higher energy bills.
NPR

Hope Or Hype: The Revolution In Africa Will Be Wireless

Young entrepreneurs in Africa say that they're leading a tech movement from the ground up. They think technology can solve social ills. But critics wonder if digital fixes can make a dent.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.