One guy that intrigues me is GOP Chairman Michael Steele, a local product who is now tasked with making the party relevant to America's changing demographic. We all know the country is trending browner, and Obamania is threatening to indoctrinate a whole new generation of young voters as lifelong Democrats.
This is of course a tall act, but Steele's hardly deterred. Witness his cunning blueprint for winning back Generation Twitter.
Newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele plans an “off the hook” public relations offensive to attract younger voters, especially blacks and Hispanics, by applying the party's principles to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”Boy, where do I begin? Among the many things that tick me off are when old guys try to use young guy slang to sound "cool". Obama never really fell into this trap on the campaign trail. Sure, there was that one time he brushed his shoulders off in my homestate, but it was in proper context (Hillary and Bill were hatin'), and subtle enough to go over the heads of those oblivious to the gesture. It was effective, and given some of the folks he's been photographed around (ie: Jay-Z) it came off as genuine.
The RNC's first black chairman will “surprise everyone” when updating the party's image using the Internet and advertisements on radio, on television and in print, he told The Washington Times.
Having been elected to the job that the Bush White House and its political guru, Karl Rove, once denied him, Mr. Steele is running the show his way. To those who claimed he can't make the trains run on time, he has this message: “Stuff it.”
There was underlying concerns we had become too regionalized and the party needed to reach beyond our comfort” zones, he said, citing defeats in such states as Virginia and North Carolina. “We need messengers to really capture that region - young, Hispanic, black, a cross section ... We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”
While other former top Bush White House and campaign officials sent congratulations on his election, including former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove neither phoned nor wrote his congratulations, Mr. Steele told The Times.
Under Mr. Steele's helm, the “old” may seem inappropriate in the Grand Old Party's affectionate nickname. He said he is putting a new public relations team into place to update the party's image.
“It will be avant garde, technically,” he said. “It will come to table with things that will surprise everyone - off the hook.”
[Editor's Note: Anyone else find it odd that Rove hasn't called to congratulate Steele on his historic appointment? I'm just sayin'.]
Steele, on the other hand, clearly is trying to tap into some of this same Obama swagger, but like the natural cornball he is, just keeps failing miserably. In the past months alone, he's tried (unsuccessfully) to get a call and response chant going at the lily-white GOP Convention, stated that he wanted to "send a shout out" during his victory speech, used the phrase "bling bling" when addressing a serious press inquiry, and now is actually using the term "off the hook" in the year 2009.
Who the f*ck still says "off the hook" in 2009? Does Mike also say "lemme hit dem' skins" when it's time to get down with the wifey? Does he put on a "jimmy hat"? Does she "get the bozack"?
Borrow your kid's iPod and update your colloquialisms, Mike!
I guess this comes back to the big problem with the GOP's latest "outreach" effort. It's bound to come off as disingenuous because it's so obvious that it's not genuine in the first place. Steele and his "wannabe hip" vernacular are just indicative of the real issue: the GOP is out-of-touch in the eyes of most voters.
Word is bond, sonn!
Question: What can the GOP do to appeal to younger voters other than spit played-out slangistics? Assuming you agree that "off the hook" is about 5 years beyond it's expiration date, what do you use to describe something of such magnitude nowadays?
Steele: GOP needs 'hip-hop' makeover [WashTimes]