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Nov 18, 2012 by JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
Here’s the video of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Saturday Night Live:
If Christie ran, even with the videos of him crossing the line into seeming bullying, I think he comes across good on the tube (am talking now strictly in terms of imagery). I’ve talked to four people the last few weeks who note how he is a “real person” versus a typical scripted politician. That registers. I’m old enough to remember Richard Nixon playing the piano on the Jack Parr Tonight show and saying “Sock it to ME?” on Laugh In. These non traditional media appearances (like Bill Clinton playing the sax on Aresnio) make it so some voters are a little more willing to listen to what a candidate has to say — it gives them access. In this SNL bit, to me as an entertainer, it seemed as if the both were using the cue cards or teleprompter, most likely so due to late rewrites etc. But Christie could fine tune his tube persona. This ability to use free media is helpful to candidates
There was a post earlier in the week about the return of the Bull Moose party. Christie would fit right in that meme (physically as well as metaphorically).
I’m old enough to remember Richard Nixon playing the piano on the Jack Parr Tonight show and saying “Sock it to ME?” on Laugh In. These non traditional media appearances (like Bill Clinton playing the sax on Aresnio) make it so some voters are a little more willing to listen to what a candidate has to say.
Nixon on Laugh In was a revelation. Clinton on Arsenio was a landmark, but that was 20 years ago.
The landscape has changed. It isn’t enough for a candidate to do “Meet the Press” and be done with it. The next occupant of the White House will need to make themselves available to most of the shows that air around 11pm Eastern Time.
The thing about the comedy shows – Stewart, Colbert, and even SNL – is that it humanizes the candidate in a way the news shows can’t. After watching Christie on Saturday, or Huckabee on the Daily Show, I’m reminded that while I may disagree with them politically, they’re still decent human beings with a sense of humor.
I’d like to see Sarah Palin on Jon Stewart. Can we make that a requirement for presidential candidates as well as releasing 10 years tax returns?
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