Huntsman’s Daughters “Go Rogue”

Washington Post, longshot moderate Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman’s daughters are getting more attention, well, than Huntsman–allegedly unauthorized:

Viral videos may catch fire online, but they rarely seem to translate into votes. Videos did not get voters excited about the campaign of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Nor did they help Christine O’Donnell or Carly Fiorina.

And building buzz has never been Huntsman’s problem. 

An excess of praise in the mainstream media – including a lavish profile of the Huntsman family in Vogue – might have actually helped doom the candidate. A series of over-the-top ads showing the candidate (well, a stunt double) riding a motorcycle through the Utah desert only made his actual announcement look more dull. Tweets criticizing other Republicans on global warming and evolution took off – and alienated the GOP base.

The campaign itself has been unnerved at times by the Huntsman daughters’ jokes – for example, when they dinged Romney on Twitter for only visiting China once, adding, “Panda Express doesn’t count.”

The latest video apparently took at least some campaign staff by surprise. “They’ve kind of gone rogue,” said one source with knowledge of the campaign.

Despite the possibility that Meghan McCain really did make John McCain cooler in the eyes of voters under 70, we tend to agree that this won’t move the needle much for Huntsman’s campaign–his big bet on New Hampshire, moving just about all of his national campaign resources there, has moved him into the upper single digits in that state. That’s not going to be enough. A viral video, “authorized” or not, is supposed to appeal to a niche audience alongside your “mainstream” message. But in this case, the viral video probably has more views than Huntsman will ever receive in votes, unless their dad has a major turnaround.

On the other hand, they’re a lot funnier than the Kardashians.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    One of Dave’s Russian pop videos finally got front-paged!

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    You have to try things that are really different. Doesn’t mean each one will work, but if a couple resonate – that can move the dial.

  3. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    But they were supporting a candidate who could actually run a campaign. It’s not that viral doesn’t move the needle, it’s that it doesn’t move the needle if the basics aren’t there.  

  4. davebarnes says:

    Jon is merely doing a training run for 2016.

    In 2016:

    1. There is no incumbent

    2. The Repub debacles of 2012 and 2014 will bring the GOP to its senses and they will go with the candidate most likely to win the general.

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