The 40 or so “Tea Parties” held around the country yesterday and today came almost out of nowhere, but their spontaneous success reveals a growing anger that still remains under the radar of the mainstream media and most Americans.
I’ve spent the past 15 years working in professional politics, and trust me: getting a hundred people to turn out for one outdoor rally in February with less than a week’s notice is very, very tough – even if you’re tapping into the infrastructure of an established organization. Getting hundreds of people to turn out at dozens of rallies in different cities using non-professional, volunteer organizers is damn near impossible.
Yet it happened yesterday, and it was done almost entirely at the grassroots level through Facebook and Twitter. While a number of national pro-taxpayer groups nominally sponsored the event, as best I can tell, only one put any real institutional weight into the effort. If the other groups really get involved, this movement is going to truly explode.
Check out some of the videos and photos from yesterday’s rallies. These aren’t small crowds. And they’re going to get much, much larger as the economy worsens and the Democrats in Washington pass bailout after bailout and New Deal program after New Deal program.
Judging from the skyrocketing traffic to this blog since I posted my video from the DC Tea Party here yesterday – and from the constant pinging of my in-box every time a new comment is posted on the video – this Tea Party movement is going to get big. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here, but I do know that something’s going on.
You may remember Rick Santelli’s “Rant Heard Round the World” on CNBC last week, in which he spoke out on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange against President Obama’s mortgage bailout plan and called for a “Chicago Tea Party.” Santelli’s outburst struck a nerve with millions of frustrated taxpayers across America, who have been working hard and playing by the rules, only to then be forced to bailout one bad decision maker after another.
Almost as soon as Santelli finished his rant, taxpayers from coast to coast started to organize real “Tea Party” protests to voice their anger and frustration. Today, several hundreds folks converged on Lafayette Park, just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House for DC’s Tea Party. Check out video from the scene below:
Filed under: Education, Online Video, Shameless Self Promotion | Tags: dc, Education, Obama, opportunity scholarship, school choice
News broke last night that the omnibus spending bill that the U.S. House is expected to pass this week (under a closed rule with no amendments allowed) would threaten the future of the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides DC children with scholarships worth up to $7,500 a year that they can use to attend the private schools of their choice.
For those in the school-choice movement, this wasn’t an unexpected development, which is why we were ready with an online video that features some of the scholarship kids encouraging President Obama to go to bat for them. You can check it out below. (Disclosure: Frank Strategies LLC produced the video.)
Filed under: Government Spending, Staging | Tags: bailout, bank, Obama, stimulus
One way to make a point in the political arena is to offer a reason-based argument full of well-documented facts. Often, especially in times of high stress and extreme economic insecurity, a better way is complete farce and parody.
With that in mind, check out the Bank of Obama, brought to us by three guys in Austin who dreamed up the idea in a local bar. Just enter a recipient, an amount and a purpose for the memo line, and presto whammo, you’ve got your very own bailout check from the Bank of Obama:
Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be. This is the kind of creative (and relatively easy-to-produce) application that’s likely to connect with many more people than the most soundly constructed, rational argument ever will. Just something for all of us to keep in mind during upcoming debates.
In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be on the next flight to Hawaii. “Aloha” means “Goodbye!” suckers!
… the more they stay the same. Just check out this 1940 video from the Republican National Committee…
Filed under: Online Video
Very good post at Amazon’s blog by StartupNation’s Rich Sloan about the growing effectiveness of video as a marketing tool:
* 52% of viewers of videos end up taking action based on the video. That’s an incredible stat.
* 16% who view a promotional video say they purchased the service or product featured.
* Data suggests that when a shopper sees a video, they are half as likely to seek out competitive sites offering something similar.
You can listen to a podcast about the effectiveness of online video with Sloan and PixelFish Founder and CEO John McIntyre here. Among the stats at the link:
Nothing is more effective that video when it comes to persuading large audiences. People remember only 20% of what they hear and only 30% of what they see, but an incredible 70% of what they both hear and see. In an age when consumers’ media consumption has fundamentally changed, with over 65% of U.S. households now using broadband and 68% of Internet users now watching video advertising online at least monthly, creating a video for your business is a great way to leverage technology to drive more customer interest.
Check out the video below from Congressman Tom Price, the new chairman of the Republican Study Committee. When news broke yesterday that House and Senate negotiators had reached a compromise on a final “stimulus” bill – behind closed doors and without GOP conferees included – Price and a staffer grabbed a video camera and exposed the hypocrisy of what was supposed to be the most “open, honest, ethical and transparent” Congress in history.
Within a couple of hours, Drudge had picked up the video and splashed it at the top of his page. As of this morning, Price’s simple video (there’s literally almost no production – no text on the screen, not even an external microphone was used during filming) has received more than 19,000 views and is the 18th most viewed “News and Politics” video on YouTube today. Not to mention the traction that the GOP’s “hypocrisy” message of the day got in the mainstream media by using the video as an interesting news hook.
I think the video would’ve been passed around more if just a modest amount of production been involved – maybe just Price’s name and website url at the bottom of the screen, as well as a handheld or lav mic to remove the echo from the Capitol’s marble corridors. But still, not bad for about 5 minutes of work and almost no money, huh?
Filed under: Online Video
Last month we told you about Congressman Buck McKeon’s “Congressional Reality Show” - short, unscripted, behind-the-scenes videos he’d started posting on YouTube and his official website.
Now it looks as if CNN has gotten into the act with its own version featuring first-term Congressmen Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jared Polis (D-Colorado.)
Brian Selter had the scoop in yesterday’s New York Times:
“They’ve asked us to give insight into what it’s like to be a freshman and what it’s like to be a congressman,” Mr. Chaffetz said in a telephone interview.
In a statement, Mr. Polis added, “So much goes on behind the scenes in Washington that doesn’t make it onto C-Span and most people don’t get to see.”
The congressmen are using high-definition Flip cameras to document their days. Mr. Chaffetz is sleeping on a cot in his office to save money, and an aide filmed him as he unpacked his bed one evening.
“The camera makes it doable,” Mr. Chaffetz said of the project. “I can literally put it in my shirt pocket.” The men do most of the filming themselves, adding an appealing amateur quality to the segments, which will last 5 to 10 minutes each on CNN.com.
The weekly series will continue for a year on the Web.
Click here to watch the first installment. It should be interesting to see how this develops, and to see whether more Members of Congress start posting videos like this on their own websites and YouTube pages.
Filed under: Republican Party
It looks like the RNC is hosting an open “Tech Summit” at their HQ on Capitol Hill on Friday. Yes, as they point out on the website, that would be Friday the 13th.
In any case, broken mirrors and black cats aside, they’re looking for ideas about how they can improve their operations, and apparently anybody can sign up for a five-minute block of time during which they can pitch their idea(s) to the RNC.
Got an idea? Click here to sign up before 11:00 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday night. If you’re not going to be in DC on Friday, you can send your ideas to the RNC at ecampaign (at) gop (dot) com.
Michael A. Fletcher at the Washington Post reports that a Senate committee confirmation vote on Obama Labor Secretary-appointee Hilda Solis has been postponed because her husband just yesterday paid a longstanding tax lien against his business.
Of course, this comes on the heels of reports that she failed to disclose that she served as Treasurer of a pro-labor lobbying group at the same time she supposedly did the people’s business as a United States Representative for everybody who lives California’s 32nd Congressional District.
A Senate committee today abruptly canceled a session to consider President Obama’s nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis to be labor secretary in the wake of a report saying that her husband yesterday paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business — including liens that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years.
The report, by USA Today, came just before the Senate’s Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee was slated to meet to consider Solis’s nomination, which had been delayed by questions over her role on the board of the pro-labor organization American Rights at Work. A source said that committee members did not learn about the tax issue until today.
Does anybody in this Administration pay taxes? And just how many jobs could have been created in this troubled economy had the Obama Transition Team actually hired a few vetters?