Hot Shots Meet the young-gun filmmakers who are rebranding the Republican Party—one YouTube video at a time.


That’s already happening. In a recent article for The Daily Caller titled “2012: The Year of the Web Video,” Vincent Harris of Harris Media wrote, “My firm has received many calls from people asking for ‘Pawlenty-esque’ videos.” (Baiano’s impact has even spread to his native Canada, where the conservative prime minister ripped off “Courage to Stand” during his reelection bid—and won.) All this represents a sea change from the last election, when the Republicans’ slickest move was an ostensibly defamatory pairing of Obama and Paris Hilton: the “Celebrity” ad. Although it found approval with the GOP’s aging base, it ultimately made John McCain seem clueless in the eyes of younger voters. Since then, Republicans have doubled down on the policy front while enlisting these new-school ad-makers to broaden the party’s appeal—through a change in packaging, not in platform. “Celebritizing candidates is simply an acknowledgment of the media-saturated culture we live in,” says the renowned GOP strategist Mark McKinnon. “And winning campaigns is all about adapting.”

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