Rick Perry is a favorite of many on the right (see Rick Perry Goes There on Race. A Thoughtful Smackdown of The Left… and Rick Perry Releases Awesome New Campaign… Cartoon?). So you can imagine our shock when he was announced as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Don’t blind yourself yet. Have a look at this video before casting the judgement. Well. At least before you take the judgement to the bank.
Maybe. Let’s be honest, he does look ridiculous. It’s not a subdued number fit for a ball of international dignitaries. Okay? Okay. I rolled my eyes. Hard. But let’s ask the real question here: Is it political suicide to dance on a television show?
Before you answer with an unwavering YES, have you seen who the Republican nominee is?
There are tons of think pieces about the “lessons” we need to learn from Donald Trump. But a key reason for his success? People outside of our political circles know who he is. Trump has appeal outside of traditional voters. Granted, he has had over 30 years to cultivate that appeal, but still, let’s give credit where due. Trump knows how to market himself. He has name recognition. People like him.
So Rick Perry isn’t afraid to look a little ridiculous and poke fun at himself? Might not be the disaster move it once used to be. Changing times, yo. Perry has millions of new people learning about him (over 12 million watched last season’s premier). Which means I’m not going to cash in my judgement just yet. I will continue to roll my eyes, though. I can’t quit cold turkey.
How many people outside of traditional political circles do you think know about Rick Perry’s well-received “race speech” we linked to before? How many more people might have seen it if he gave that after introducing himself to 12 million new people on Dancing with the Stars?
This is just where our culture is, everyone. We can (and probably should) laugh about it. We can lament it. But neither will change the value our culture puts on entertainment. Perhaps it’s a good marketing idea to leverage it rather than laugh at it. Perhaps.
But I’m still rolling my eyes.
Speaking of laughing at political leaders…