McConnell Turns Spoofed Video Into Fundraiser

McConnell Turns Spoofed Video Into Fundraiser
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Mitch McConnell may be mired in one of the closest races of his political career, but that hasn't prevented the longtime senator from poking fun at himself -- and raising money.

The Senate minority leader’s campaign released a bizarre political advertisement Tuesday. Composed entirely of what TV producers call “B-roll” footage (that is, unnarrated shots of the subject doing routine chores of one’s trade) the ad features repetitive shots of McConnell awkwardly smiling, sitting with his wife, working at his desk, meeting with staff and greeting constituents. (The campaign likely released the footage to provide free stock material for outside groups that it can’t officially coordinate with.)

The video was mocked as a curiosity in several media outlets -- from “The Daily Show” to the New York Times -- and seemed to validate the perception of McConnell as dull and a career politician. And then Internet parodies began pouring in. Some mixed shots of McConnell with vintage television or film scenes. Others used ironic music to accompany the footage.

The McConnell campaign responded by trying to turn the potential gaffe into gold.  It collected the best parodies on a page of its website and set up a poll for supporters to choose their favorites. And, like any campaign, it tried to raise money off the parodies.

In an e-mail, the campaign acknowledged that “most people didn’t know what to make of” the videos. But then, “something kind of cool happened…”

The e-mail concluded with a request, “If you liked these videos, please consider chipping-in a few bucks to our campaign so we can keep Mitch rolling to victory.” 

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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