On Feb. 12, Buzzfeed posted “Things Everybody Does But Doesn’t Talk About,” a video and spread of President Obama being a normal, funny guy.
My first reaction was that it somehow wasn’t legitimate (which is telling about my impression of Buzzfeed, who also did a traditional interview with the president). The traffic it got, the full video and mostly the healthcare.gov plug convinced me.
My next reaction was, “What in the world would my AP U.S. History teacher say?” John Primm faithfully taught me all things history for three years. One thing that stuck with me was our discussion about the 1960 presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon, the first televised presidential debate.
Many who listened in on the radio thought Nixon won. Those who tuned in on TV had a different story to tell. Nixon, looking haggard from health issues, was up against a young & healthy Kennedy. Many people say the debate was a turning point and won Kennedy the election.
Between social media and advances in technology, I think it’s becoming more and more important for politicians to look like the kind of person that people want to vote for, to be a real, likable person. What Nixon had to say didn’t quite cut it. This has always been important, but is more important now that we see so many more videos and images of politicians.
And the meaning of meeting people where they are is ever changing. Young people are on Buzzfeed and social media, and the President wanted to get the word about Obamacare out to this audience. At a time when people are also accustomed to posting glimpses into their personal lives online for others to see and read, it makes sense that they would enjoy a president willing to take steps to do the same.
I’m also loving those Instagram posts signed “-mo.”