Saturday, December 4, 2010
Pop Culture the Great Influencer; Fishing Lures, Sarah Palin & my Christmas Tree
A couple weeks back Romney operative Karl Rove made a silly comment about TLC's smash hit "Sarah Palin's Alaska" and how presidential candidates should not be on tv shows. Mrs. Palin reminded Uncle Karl that President Ronald Reagan starred alongside a chimpanzee in 1951's "Bedtime for Bonzo".
Pop Culture has been influencing American politics for quite some time. But Sarah Palin is the only conservative politician to have caught on to this. It's a good thing because the left figured this out a long time ago, and to be perfectly honest, we have some catching up to do. And thanks to Sarah Palin, we are catching up. We are catching up very quickly.
Of all the 2012 GOP contenders (Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels, Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Pence, Ron Paul, Chris Christie, and Mike Huckabee) only Sarah Palin and Donald Trump understand the importance of Pop Culture. Actually, there are probably a few others who understand this but Pop Culture only gives a hoot about Mrs. Palin and Mr. Trump.
It would be very difficult for any of the presidential hopefuls to catch up with or even make a dent in Pop Culture the way Sarah Palin has. Again, the only exception would possibly be Donald Trump.
Anyone attempting to match Mrs. Palin in the arena of pop culture has their work cut out for them. Sarah Palin is everywhere these days. Let's take a look at this potential future president and her modern approach to campaigning:
1. She's written two books: Going Rogue: An American Life (2.5 million sold...and counting) & most recently: America by Heart: Reflections of Family, Faith, & Flag (debuted on NYT bestseller list at #2 behind President George W. Bush's: Decision Points ) NOTE: The NYT with both Going Rogue and America by Heart did not place a dagger next to the books. Which means that bookstores did not report receiving bulk orders. The same cannot be said about Mitt Romney's last book.
2. Every Sunday at 9pm 3-5 million viewers are tuning in to TLC to watch "Sarah Palin's Alaska". I think Sarah Palin herself described the leverage and influence of this tv show best:
We're not to just be sitting there in our own little circle of influence and though the Fox News viewership is huge, larger than any other news organization of course, just preaching to the choir with Fox viewers? No, we need to get out there and reach people who are so independent that perhaps they would never think to tune in to Fox News and introduce some good ideas to these people. We can do that through a show like Sarah Palin's Alaska.
3. She has more than than 300,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 2.5 million fans on Facebook. Two things must be noted:
A. The Blue-Blood's and Establishment GOP's preferred nominee Mitt Romney by comparison has only 21,000 followers on Twitter and almost 750,000 Facebook fans.
B. Future politicians and students of politcal science will study Mrs. Palin's strategy of completely circumventing the lame stream media bias filter with her use of social media to take her message directly to the people.
4. Several weeks ago daughter Bristol Palin made it all the way to the semi finals and came in third place on the number one tv show in the country: Dancing with the Stars. With modest dancing skills, week after week, Bristol advanced on the show because of telephone and online support from not just her mothers supporters but by regular Americans moved by Bristols real life struggles and triumphs. When you consider that more people vote for American Idol and Dancing with the Stars than actual presidential elections you can see why the left got all wee-wee'd up about Bristols accomplishment. The entire left wing (and Blue Blood Establishment GOP) narrative about Sarah Palin not being capable of winning a presidential general election just got flushed down the toilet. The media may not like the Palin's, but America can't get enough of them.
5. Last week, for the third year in a row, Sarah Palin was named one of Barbara Walters most fascinating people of the year:
Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2010, an hour-long ABC News special highlighting some of the year's most prominent names in entertainment, sports, politics and pop culture," will air THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9 (10:00 - 11:00 pm ET).
So we have to ask ourselves, "Can Sarah Palin's state of the art, social media, Pop Culture, stylish approach lead to the presidency"? The answer is very simple: YES.
In many ways it already has. Our current president's path to the White House consisted of nothing more than 7 years in the Illinois state senate, 2 years in the United States Senate (where he did absolutely nothing except campaign for president), two books, some speaking engagements, and yup...you guessed it, Pop Culture.
Have we already forgotten about the viral Obama Girl you-tube video, Obama sushi, Obama pedicures, Obama Chia Pets, and of course that creepy Obama Hope tramp stamp poster?
So what's the difference? Well for starters Sarah Palin has been vetted. More than any candidate in the history of U.S. politics. More importantly Sarah Palin has experience. Much more than Barack Obama. While Obama's less than distinguished seasoning amounts to almost nine years of legislative experience, Sarah Palin has 17 years of public service. Both legislative and executive. Let's say that again. Sarah Palin has executive experience, Obama had zero executive experience yet the media narrative was and is the opposite.
Sarah Palin was first elected to public office in 1992. She is now going on two decades of public service:
1. Wasilla City Council 1992 – 1996
2. City of Wasilla, Mayor & Manager 1996 – 2002
3. President of Alaska Conference of Mayors 1999
4. Chair & Ethics Officer of Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission 2003 – 2004
5. Governor of Alaska 2006 – 2009
The path to the presidency has changed many times since the inception of our republic. In America's early days campaigning was considered vulgar and unrefined. Things have changed. It was FDR who understood the importance and force of radio. Then came JFK who realized that tv was the medium with unlimited power.
Perhaps many years from now America will look back and see how our first female president turned the tables on the media. The same out of date media who ridiculed, defamed, and distorted her record in a sexist attempt to prevent progress in the office of the modern presidency.
Through the use of Pop Culture and the revival of common sense conservatism Sarah Palin is changing the rules of politics. And her message to the left, The Blue Bloods, and the Establishment GOP is very clear: "Change with me, or get the heck out of the way".
Thomas S Schmitz
Follow me on Twitter: @ThomasSSchmitz
Posted by Thomas S Schmitz at 9:42 PM