Politics and Grassroots

Video killed the… uh… video star?

In 2007, the use of YouTube to announce exploratory committees (all by Democrats) was hailed as revolutionary.  In 2011, it’s par for the course.  Online video has cemented its place in the campaign communications toolkit.  In recent weeks, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and President Obama have all announced their 2012 campaigns or exploratory committees.

But all online videos are not created equal, and it’s interesting that this rash of announcement videos comes right around the release of Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity video.

Watching Ryan’s video again, it’s striking how well done it is, stylistically.  Between the appropriately serious music, the superimposed charts, and even the way shots are framed, the technical minds behind it clearly had an intelligent vision and the skill to carry it out.  Just as important, Ryan appears completely at ease.  He makes his points directly, yet his tone is conversational; if he is reading from a teleprompter he does a good job of making it seem like he isn’t.  He interacts well with the graphics – notable because they probably weren’t there during filming.

Ryan does such a good job explaining a complex issue in a concise and engaging way that it calls to mind previous media revolutions.  Other Presidents appeared on television, but John F. Kennedy was out first “TV President.”  Could Paul Ryan be America’s first made-for-YouTube politician?

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