The political season fascinates me, though probably for the wrong reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I care about who is in office and the issues we are addressing as a nation and a community. But it’s the Superbowl of personal branding. Who says what, when, with what body language, wearing what color and shape of clothing; and do we think they are the positive, nice, strong, believable, a leader, a scoundrel, a liar or a cheat? What do we think of their past and how do we stop the circulation of photos of politicians in bathing suits? How many hours of Fox news will be dedicated to the interpretation of interpersonal skills instead of the actual issues at hand?
It’s true, I did say out loud in 2008 that Obama was the candidate I’d most like to have dinner with. For the wrong reasons. Remember that youthful glow he had, the optimism, and that big toothy grin? Come on, now, I’m not the only one. Besides, next to Bush, Obama was a virtual supermodel. Plus, he could speak actual English without embarrassing himself or us.
This year, I’m going to miss Rick Perry. For the comedy. This is what I mean:
The real TV spot:
Whatever you think about Rick Perry, you’ve got to give him some credit for getting a Rebecca Blackian 700,000 “dislikes”.
But best of all this is the kind of stuff that inspires instant parodies. Here are a couple of excellent video parody replies:
And even some print from Dangerous Minds:
But, God bless the internet – now we can spread rumors faster than ever. But we can also criticize and analyze and foster dialogue better than ever. If we all are really only 4.73 degrees of separation from each other now, “we the people” should be able to influence the outcome of elections in ways that political strategists never had to worry about. I just hope we don’t waste the opportunity.
I don’t know about you… but I’m excited for the 2012 political branding sporting season: viral videos, comedy (intentional and otherwise), new memes every debate, oh yes, and picking the leader of the free world.