‘Real life’ folk in the kitchen: US Democrats go on­line for votes

The Sunday Telegraph - - World News - By Ben Ri­ley-Smith US Ed­i­tor

AF­TER an­nounc­ing she was con­sid­er­ing run­ning to be US pres­i­dent ear­lier this week, El­iz­a­beth War­ren headed to the fridge for a beer. With her, she took 1.1mil­lion peo­ple along.

Swig­ging un­con­vinc­ingly from the bot­tle, the Demo­cratic sen­a­tor for Mas­sachusetts in­tro­duced Bruce, her hus­band. “This is my sweetie,” she said as he wan­dered into shot. “He’s the best.”

The 69-year-old’s awk­ward at­tempt at folksi­ness trig­gered eye-rolls in sec­tions of the US me­dia. Head­lines mocked her “un­planned” beer mo­ment as a cringe-in­duc­ing.

But per­sonal live broad­cast­ing – es­pe­cially from the kitchen – looks set to be the tool ev­ery Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial hope­ful wants to em­brace.

In 2016, Don­ald Trump’s Twit­ter feed was the defin­ing me­dia plat­form of the elec­tion race. In 2020, Face­book and In­sta­gram “lives” look set to play the same role.

Beto O’Rourke, the poster boy of Left-lean­ing Amer­ica, hotly tipped for the White House af­ter al­most beat­ing Ted Cruz to a Se­nate seat in Texas, has per­fected the skill. In the run-up to that Novem­ber midterms he was live broad­cast­ing so fre­quently that Texas news­pa­pers dubbed it “Be­to­vi­sion”.

Bernie San­ders and Joe Bi­den, two sep­tu­a­ge­nar­i­ans among the favourites for the 2020 Demo­crat pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, have also been dab­bling in their own broad­cast­ing, al­beit not live.

Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez, the 29-year-old demo­cratic so­cial­ist who be­came the youngest woman elected to Congress in Novem­ber, is among the early adopters of self-broad­cast­ing.

While she is not run­ning for the White House, her live stream­ing – tak­ing ques­tions as she cooks and dances to R&B – has been noted by col­leagues.

But Will Mar­shall, pres­i­dent of the cen­trist Pro­gres­sive Pol­icy In­sti­tute, said: “The can­di­dates who most ex­cite mil­len­nial ac­tivists on so­cial me­dia are prob­a­bly not the peo­ple who are go­ing to have the broad­est pos­si­ble ap­peal to the elec­torate.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.