Anthony Weiner Announces His Run for Mayor on You Tube: Mistake?
Because Blue Shoe has done work for a number of politicians, I like to second-guess political campaign strategies. When Anthony Weiner announced his New York City mayoral candidacy on YouTube, my e-mail inbox was filled with messages from friends saying what a mistake it was. Why would he do that?
Why indeed? I think it was a brilliant move.
Anthony Weiner has troubles bigger than the fact that his very name evokes the mistake he made by sharing lewd photographs on Twitter. God, you cannot make this stuff up. How does he address the issue without having to provide soundbites about it? Video is how, and he did it well. Look at the images that appear on the screen when he says he made some mistakes. No mistake in those choices. “Look, I’ve made mistakes,” he says in the voiceover, as he stands on a tree-lined Brooklyn street, “but I’ve learned a lot.” You hear the word mistakes, but he’s not standing at a podium the way most scum-bag politicians do, with cameras flashing as they stand there like Mrs. Prynne in The Scarlet Letter. He’s loose — you hear him admit his mistake, and in the next second, he’s showing you all of New York City.
Best of all (for him), he doesn’t have to answer any questions, as he would if he were to call a press conference. On YouTube, he can control the responses and delete comments that don’t work for him in favor of comments made by shills — friends, family, assistants, and political cronies who will post commentary that works for him rather than addressing what others might be thinking. By doing that, he gets to be the pundit commenting on YouTube.
Lastly, the younger generation in America doesn’t care so much about scandals. They are YouTube’s voice.
All in all, with the mountain he has to climb, this was a good out-of-the box way of saying, “Yes, I am running. And I will control the messaging.” Well done, Weiner team. But now let’s talk about your Facebook page, which is a whole other story.
Blue Shoe Note to Self: Put words over a picture to sugar-coat a difficult message, and be sure to make the picture irrelevant to the words coming out of your mouth.