Friday, April 17, 2015

The future of presidential campaigning?

It seems that every Republican presidential candidate has at least one book to his credit, but coloring books is a medium I wouldn't have imagined.  Leave it to Ted Cruz to mine this territory, hoping to instill his set of values on a generation not far out of diapers, judging by the level of illustrations.  No one could quite believe it when Stephen Colbert mocked the coloring book over a year ago, but it is real and apparently selling quite well.

I made the mistake of looking it up on amazon, and now my screen is filled with similar coloring books, autobiographies and other screeds by today's leading conservatives.  It will probably take a month of surfing other titles before I get my home page cleaned.  Another title that caught my eye was this one, Help Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! which actually dates back to 2005.  Hence, the outdated image of Ted Kennedy on the cover.

Hillary, however, is very much in vogue and has a new coloring book, thanks to Ulysses Press and a Republican PAC headed by former Mitt Romney advisers, which calls itself American Rising.  More like America Descending to sink this low in negative campaigning.

You have to wonder who these coloring books are intended for.  Is the GOP so worried about its aging brand appeal that it is aiming for a whole new generation to storm the electorate in 12 years time?  Or, does this just serve as some silly novelty that has long been the staple of campaigns?  After all, you could actually get a Mitt oven glove during the 2012 campaign.   Whatever the case, I don't think these coloring books are going to serve more than fodder for news comedy programs and Conservative day care centers.

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