Here’s why we’re doing it. It was that Obama slow-jam on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” It’s buzzing around everywhere. It got boffo ratings, went viral and the crowd seemed to love it. But the GOP jumped on it too and put out this video which contrasted the slow-jam by Obama with Romney giving his victory speech on Tuesday. It’s supposed to make Obama look sophomoric compared with a serious Romney.
Sound familiar? Remember back in 2008 that was a theme the John McCain campaign tried too. That campaign attempted to portray Obama as someone running for “celebrity-in-chief” when he spoke in front of huge crowds in Berlin. And it did seem to give McCain a little traction in the late summer before the financial crisis hit.
My Bottom Line: This skirmish is going to end up being a draw. It’s not the first time there has been a pop culture twist to a presidential campaign, going all the way back to Richard Nixon in 1968 on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and of course in 1992 Bill Clinton famously played the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show.” And even Romney himself has gone on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and is mulling over a “Saturday Night Live” appearance.
Everyone knows these kinds of appearances are now part of the political game, but my advice is to keep an eye on where the candidates spend their money in advertising. Television audiences are becoming more and more partisan and I think you’ll see the campaigns buying ads on specific shows to pump up their most loyal voters.
The Obama campaign will likely look to “Glee” and ABC’s “Modern Family,” two shows a lot of Democrats apparently watch. And maybe that’s why Obama has said “Modern Family” is a show he and his family enjoy.
For Republicans “Wheel of Fortune” is a big draw, also ABC’s “The Bachelor” and my personal favorite, “Pawn Stars.” But will Romney follow me onto the “Pawn Stars” set and make a cameo? I wouldn’t bet against it.