Under the Dome

March 19, 2014

Tillis, Hagan videos part of latest popular campaign strategy

The latest craze in political campaigns has a good beat and you can dance to it – when creative voters get involved.

The latest craze in political campaigns has a good beat and you can dance to it – when creative voters get involved.

Here’s the deal: political candidates haven taken to producing posed online video clips of themselves, muted and set to background music.

The clips are a way for candidates to provide generic b-roll footage for Super PACs, which they’re not legally allowed to coordinate with, to use in their TV ads. But some voters have started using the videos to have a bit of their own fun.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and one of her Republican challengers, House Speaker Thom Tillis, have both released two- to three-minute campaign videos – Tillis’ on YouTube and Hagan’s on her campaign website – featuring clip after generic clip of the candidate smiling, talking with voters or staring dazedly off-camera. There is not a single word spoken in either.

Last week, the tactic started gaining a bit of national notoriety when Jon Stewart found a similar video for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and decided to make it his own.

Stewart and his crew on “The Daily Show” started attaching their own songs to McConnell’s video, trying everything from Bryan Adams’ “Look Into My Eyes” to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”

Stewart then started a competition, which he called #McConnelling, urging viewers to add their own music and editing to the original video and post the new ones on Twitter. They answered, in high volume. The phenomenom prompted coverage from Huffington Post, while BuzzFeed compiled its own list of “ The Daily Show’s Top 30 #McConnelling Videos of All Time.”

Dome is sure our readers are just as clever. If you’ve had some fun of your own with either a Hagan or Tillis video, tweet it with the hashtag #ncpol, and it could end up in Dome’s Morning Memo.

As Stewart said, the game works with almost every song out there. “It doesn’t make sense!” he said on the show.

But for Dome, family-friendliness is required. Goat cameos are encouraged.

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Under the Dome is your inside source on North Carolina politics and government and has been a regular feature in The N&O since 1934. Check here for the latest on state and federal government, political advocacy and upcoming elections. This blog is maintained by the N&O politics staff.

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