McConnell team gets in on the laughs over 'McConnelling'

syoungman@herald-leader.comMarch 14, 2014 

What song would you pick?

That was the Internet conversation Friday as the twitter phenomenon known as #McConnelling blew up online.

The trend exploded after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign on Tuesday night posted a string of b-roll clips on Youtube of McConnell smiling and posing, but not talking. It ignited a seemingly endless stream of mash-ups and different songs played over the video.

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show played the video, adding different songs to it to coincide with some of McConnell's more amusing smiles and encouraging viewers to create their own on Twitter with the hashtag #McConnelling.

"There are no words," Stewart said, cracking up throughout the segment. "Seriously, the entire ad is two and a half minutes and there's no words. It's just Mitch McConnell and that music."

For its part, the McConnell campaign appeared to appreciate the joke as much as the rest of the online world, even sending a fundraising email Thursday night that included some of their favorite mash-ups, such as a McConnell smile in the closing credits of Top Gun and Who's the Boss?

Jesse Benton, McConnell's campaign manager, said in the email that watching the evolution of "McConnelling" over the week was like "watching a college sociology experiment."

"Politics is tough, and we face very serious issues, but sometimes, we could all stand to relax and have a good laugh," Benton wrote. "So, our campaign grabbed up some of the best videos, made a few of our own, and put them all together here:www.teammitch.com/parodies

Allison Moore, McConnell's spokeswoman, said that McConnell "has always embraced humor in his campaigns and #McConnelling is a perfect example."

"We look for many different ways to interact with voters and this video has been successful beyond our wildest dreams," Moore said.

Stewart speculated that the b-roll was put online so that super PACs allied with McConnell but legally prohibited from coordinating with his campaign would have footage that could be used in their ads.

"Or he just put it out there so we could have fun with it," Stewart said.

Sam Youngman: (502) 875-3793. Twitter: @samyoungman. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com

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