Chris Christie, Governor of YouTube
BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 30 2010
New Jersey's Chris Christie has been getting a truckload of public attention of late, not for his politics (or, at least, not only for his politics) but for the savvy he's demonstrated in getting people to pay attention to what he's up to in the Garden State using things like Twitter and YouTube, the latter of which is the subject of a profile in today's New York Times' by Richard Pérez-Peña. Christie has purposefully amassed a cache of online videos, some of which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and many of which show he mixing it up with folks who would question his vision for pulling New Jersey out of its financial mess:
Michael DuHaime, the governor’s chief political strategist, argued, in classic image-maker style, that “the viral nature of his YouTube videos has less to do with the medium than it does the man.” They work, Mr. DuHaime said, because of the governor’s "real accomplishments and his clear, direct way of communicating his vision for the state."
But experts said Mr. Christie’s effective, animated speaking style was enhanced by the videography style of his aides. Many clips are from one minute to five minutes long, and generally have an impromptu, almost homemade feel, shot with a hand-held camera in school gyms and firehouses, carefully edited to show Mr. Christie at his most earnest and funny, pacing with a microphone and giving detailed answers to constituents’ questions.
Spend some time watching some of these Christie video "moments," as his campaign is said to call them, and what quickly becomes clear is that Governor Christie is a recognizable Internet personality -- the passionate guy or gal in online forums who can really be a combative pain, but who also actually more or less knows what he or she is talking about. And it's a persona that seems to be working for the Republican governor. The Obama campaign knew its way around YouTube, but few other politicians are doing anything nearly as creative with online video. Christie, though, has a lot going for him in this arena: a big and colorful personality, a messed-up state, some juicy villains in the form of the teachers union, and a constituent base in New Jersey that is generally pretty comfortable with blunt-talk verbal sparring.
Watch Christie Christie TV here.