Messaging in a Time of Micro-celebrity

I mentioned this on social just a little while ago, but I wanted to expand on my thoughts here. Watching the below-linked video, it occurred to me that what separates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the minds of lots of Internet-aware voters is that Hillary is ready to find a message and pound it into your head the old fashioned way. Sanders has shown a willingness to let his supporters define their own versions of the message.

In a world where every individual with a smartphone – including yours truly – can become a celebrity in their own minds, is it self-defeating to try to define your own message at those voices’ expense? We hear a lot about Hillary’s lack of authenticity, but it seems like the real problem is that she’s trying too hard to get the old Clinton mojo back.

Even if she could play sax, showing up on a late night show to play an instrument didn’t do Mike Huckabee shit, so why would she expect that we’ll all behave as we did in the 90’s? Maybe it’s because, as a career messenger and “triangulator” in the parlance of our day, she can’t afford the messiness of an off-message supporter.

Bernie Sanders has no such hang-ups. He’s been willing to say “we don’t need you.” And he can do so without irony, because he’s not secretly huddling up with them in some bank-funded private luncheon.

The Senator didn’t reach out to me all of a sudden because he needs help with Black people. He didn’t put out a press conference announcing that we would be working together. He didn’t force me to frame my support of him around a subject matter that special interest groups that support him can get behind. They said we are glad to have your support, how do you want to plug in. You will see a lot of Black leaders handing out endorsements, think to yourself, have they historically been a rubber stamp for the establishment? I hope this expresses why I think Bernie is our guy!

Source: Erica Garner’s Commercial Endorsing Bernie Sanders for President – Erica Garner