RSS
Death of a meme: Mitch McConnell's campaign ruins the Harlem Shake
Republicans prove once again that they have a long way to go in capturing the youth vote

The campaign team for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has released a web video in which staffers do the Harlem Shake, in a bid to capitalize on a meme that, if not already in its death throes, has surely received what amounts to a stake in the heart. After all, there is little that screams zany fun times less than McConnell, the poker-faced senator whose only meme-tastic moment was the time when The Daily Caller published a slideshow called, "Turtles that look like Mitch McConnell."

"We are putting it out because we plan to work hard but also plan to have a lot of fun," campaign manager Jesse Benton tells CNN. Benton also claims that the participants in the video, who have dressed up as Rosie the Riveter, Captain America, Abraham Lincoln, and other patriotic personages, are college Republicans who "approached us about shooting it because they are all fired up to volunteer for Team Mitch!"

While a fluency in pop culture has its obvious political benefits — just watch the crowd erupt as a young Barack Obama brushes some imaginary dirt off his shoulder — Republicans seem particularly maladroit when it comes to engaging the youth vote. And let's face it: Mitch McConnell is never, ever going to be cool.

Ryu Spaeth is deputy editor at TheWeek.com.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week