In an effort to catch up to the youngsters of the post-modern world, politicians are working to spruce up their 'hip' factor by mixing in some old-school politics with high-tech campaigning. City councilor, Michael Flaherty seems to be running with this idea in his YouTube announcement, confirming his run for mayor that was released Sunday.
Sure, it makes sense in the aftermath of the presidential elections and the effectiveness of Obama’s Web campaigning. Web-savvy Obamaniacs flocked to their computers to join the then-presidential hopeful’s Facebook and Myspace pages. The Obama campaign’s centerpiece of internet politics, My.BarackObama.com, even reportedly reeled in over a million members and allowed supporters to find local events, contact one another, and post their own blogs. The campaign revolutionized the use of the Web as a political tool, and it’s no wonder Flaherty wants to hop on top of that bandwagon.
But if you’re a middle-aged computer-illiterate candidate hoping to venture into cyberworld, don’t get other middle-aged computer-illiterate advisors to help you. The Flaherty campaign reportedly claims to have gotten technical advice from Obama consultants, but he must have accidently chucked the Post-it where he jotted down instructions on how to use the Web. His YouTube announcement was prematurely leaked onto the site late Saturday night, which left Internet users confused at the rough cut of the councilor sitting at his kitchen table.
I give him credit for trying to reach out to the younger generation amidst their searches for the latest Adam Samberg video on YouTube, but I was more distracted by the shiny KitchenAid mixer in the background and the way his hair abnormally molded into an immovable 3-inch platform than what he was actually saying. Maybe that’s just a testament to my own attention deficit, but there’s no question about Flaherty’s less-than-proficient knowledge of Web-based skills.
His MySpace page was allegedly taken down because it seemed to hurt his campaign more than help it, consisting of a hodgepodge of Boston city scenes and illegible, eye-damaging postings. His MySpace friends received frantic posts from an exclamation point-friendly Flaherty telling them to friend him on Facebook instead.
Hey Baby Flats, you’ve got to do more than upload a video and create a Facebook profile to gain the support of the young’ins. You can learn a thing or two from Obama. Afterall, he even knows how to rock his shnazzy iPhone and has mastered the art of booty-bumping at the neighborhood ball. On second thought… scratch the booty-bumping.
So does his YouTube endeavor make Flaherty a more promising and ultramodern candidate for mayor?
He may be able to pull out the ‘grandpa’ card against 66-year-old incumbent, Menino, but let's just hope he does a better job at governing the city than he does at maintaining his Myspace page.--- Christine Choe