Earlier this year, I used a great deal of digital ink describing why I believe that Marco Rubio has the best digital campaign of the cycle. So far, his team has done the best job stripping down the trappings of campaign life to offer the country an introduction to who Marco Rubio is as a person.
As in, a human being. Embracing our own humanity is important–it’s how Barack Obama managed to connect to his voter base, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s greatest failing as a candidate (and, not ironically, as a human being.)
In their latest offering, Team Rubio takes the same tone they used with their “Top Google Searches for Marco Rubio” ad, but expands their reach to voters looking to connect with a candidate on an everyday level.
He likes Twitter, and hates mushrooms. Prefers Tupac to Biggie. Wants his iPhone back. He loves Christmas, craves Tex-Mex, and would place his faith in Batman in a fair fight against Spiderman.
Watch until the end and you’ll see an old friend* make a cameo appearance…
*”Friend”: old enemy you may as well embrace because it’s never going away.
This stuff may seem superficial, irrelevant, or a waste of time, but believe me, it’s not. Americans crave a candidate they can identify with; simply “agreeing with” someone isn’t enough anymore. The world lost its mind when it found out that Barack Obama likes Jay-Z; that fact was important not because rap music is important to public policy, but because it brought an entirely new group of people into the discussion.
Anyone who knows anything about networking doesn’t just walk into a room, pick up a cocktail weenie, and start bombarding the first person they see with their views on health care or education. No—they take their time, introduce themselves, and actually engage in a conversation.
People hate being talked at. It’s condescending and boring and there’s no hope of making a connection. If we insist that our candidates stick to their bullet points and never reveal who they are as living, breathing human beings, we’re wasting our time and money. We might as well vote for Hillary.
Marco Rubio is running a clinic on candidate humanization. Will his opponents pick up their own slack in time for January? It remains to be seen—but if they value a win for Republicans next November, and not just a pyrrhic victory during the nomination process, they need to.
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