Earlier today, the Speaker’s office released a light, approachable (we’ll talk about this later), “Happy Spring” video from the Man himself, showing John Boehner purchasing and installing a new blade on his push mower.

Watch it here:

He may be the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but he still irons his own shirts, washes his own dishes, and yes…cuts his own grass. But a well-kept yard requires well-kept tools, so in the video, Speaker Boehner preps his push mower for the springtime.

Flawlessly executed “man of the people” spot? NAY. Soon after the video was released, the internet noticed something…horrifying. Behold:

boehner socks annotated

Speaker Boehner has out-dadded all of us, America.

Not one to be outdone, Boehner responded in kind:

So, why am I talking about this? I’m talking about this because it’s another great example of a politician using the digital space to make himself and his position more accessible. Marco Rubio recently did it in a stripped-down video featuring him, sitting on a desk, answering commonly asked questions about himself and his candidacy.

Team Boehner’s approach is different, but it’s banking on the same idea: people want to see politicians out of context.

When I say “people,” I don’t necessarily mean people who are constantly engaged in the political process. I’m talking about people who don’t follow this stuff 24/7, who have no clue who John Boehner is, and whose votes we’re going to be fighting for in 2016.

You may love John Boehner, or hate John Boehner, but that doesn’t matter. If you already have a strong opinion about the Speaker, this little throwaway spot wasn’t for you. I stand by what I said yesterday; this type of messaging is incredibly important in terms of outreach. If you want to build relationships with voters, you need to humanize your candidate.

This type of messaging doesn’t replace the red meat—it just (in some cases) precedes it.

Somewhere in the country today, a fair weather independent who voted half the ticket in 2012 because he didn’t much care for anyone, to be honest, just clicked on that video, watched it, and chuckled.

That chuckle isn’t everything, but it’s the spark that leads to an opening to a conversation that could lead to one more vote for the GOP ticket in 2016.

FYI, Speaker Boehner has a bit of a sock fixation, as Luke Russert learned back in 2012:

As NBC’s Luke Russert began asking about the Midwest drought during Boehner’s weekly press conference, the speaker stopped him dead in his tracks. The sight of Russert’s sockless feet, tucked into loafers, elicited commentary.

“Nice socks you have on, by the way,” Boehner sarcastically said, who then gave a serious eye roll to Russert’s apology and explanation that “it’s laundry day.”

Russert asserted that Boehner appeared, sans socks, on a local Washington State television years ago, but Boehner firmly replied that “I didn’t have a tie on. It’s a really simple rule: if you’re wearing a tie, you should be wearing socks.”


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