For all the talk about how this year's presidential election will be decided in controlled messages of 140 characters or less, its biggest moment so far was delivered on traditional media – in response to an unscripted moment during a TV interview. 20th century media isn't going down without a fight.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday during an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts that he “personally” believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, although that is largely up to state legislatures.
The Obama camp's decision to put the president's evolved, and historic, feelings on the record indicates how important it was to Team Obama to end speculation on his position from media outlets. The announcement clearly helps with gay donors, as well. And if you had any doubts that the Obama campaign would try to paint Mitt Romney as a flip flopper through November, the president's now-clearer stance on gay marriage - a complicated topic if there ever was one - should erase those.
From a media relations standpoint, the announcement also shows the importance of a broadcast TV interview, shown over two days with video broken on the web. It also demonstrates the impact the White House press corps still has when it peppers a press secretary to the point of embarrassment, or when a TV interviewer pushes a vice president to break from the party line.
The mainstream media may have diversified broadly in recent years, adding rapid-fire Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media accounts to its repertoire, but it still drives the major campaign storylines.