Top Social Media Moments of the 2016 US Presidential Campaign
This piece was originally going to be titled “Top 10 Social Media Mistakes from the 2016 US Presidential Campaign”, however I felt that such a title would be disingenuous, and I am no swindler. Social media was center stage during this election and everyday it felt like there was another incredible social media blunder. So in honor of Inauguration Day, here are my top 10 Social Media Mistakes—and Moments—from 2016 US Presidential Campaign
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Honorable Mention – Taco Bowl Lovin’ Trump
After unleashing an incessant deluge of insults, generalizations, and racial epithets towards Mexican-Americans for the previous 6 months, Trump and his campaign came to a sudden realization in May: they can vote too.
No one is falling for it Donny & Co. First, where’s your trusty “Donald Trump Make America Great Again” bib? We all know you can’t eat without it.
But yeah, absolutely nothing about this tweet comes across as pandering or condescending. What says “I Love Hispanics!” on Cinco De Mayo more than eating one of the truly authentic staples of Mexican cuisine, the taco bowl.
To his credit, everyone from Oaxaca to 5th Avenue knows that the best taco bowls are made at the Trump Tower Grill…just look at their rave Yelp reviews.
10) Hillary is Just Chillin’ In Cedar Rapids
Ain’t gonna lie, this was a truly historic moment. We all have the privilege to not only watch the first female presidential candidate of a major US political party say the word “chillin” for the first time, but we can hear her do it on a loop 609 times in a row without refreshing the page.
One of the biggest issues for Hillary Clinton and her campaign coming into the Presidential race was changing her image as “impersonal” and unable to connect with the common voter. She especially needed to mobilize the enthusiasm of younger demographics the same way Barack Obama did. So what better way to do this than to release this highly professional, compelling 6 second vine? Congratulations Hillary, for doing what no one thought was possible, for making Cedar Rapids, Michigan seem even less cool.
9) Ted Cruz is Lazy and Bad at Photoshop
Ted Cruz uploaded this image to one of his apparently many campaign websites, therealrubiorecord.com, and subsequently tweeted it, officially thrusting this into the domain of social media. In a weak attempt to align the policy preferences of then President Barack Obama with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the Cruz campaign decided to forego all of the real photos of Obama and Rubio shaking hands in favor of this atrocious photoshop of a stock image.
Thanks to the help of the trusted computer forensics team known as Twitter’s daily active users, the original stock image was found, and Ted Cruz was left trying to think of other ways to sabotage Rubio.
8) Ted Cruz Loves the Simpsons
Prepare to regret not voting for Cruzer…
Nice try Harry Shearer, we all know who the real Ned Flanders is.
7) How To Destroy Your Cell Phone w/ Lindsay Graham
You may or may not recall one Trump’s classier moments behind the lectern this past year: reading off US Senator Lindsay Graham’s personal cell phone number in front of roaring crowds.
Chalk it up to the annoyingly likable Lindsay Graham to respond in such brilliant fashion to Trump’s Sad! actions. I find it hard to believe that any Trump supporter wouldn’t jump over to the #GrahamTrain after watching this video. Sad(!)ly, Graham’s response was not pot-stirring enough for the political media to cover it. Had he retaliated by reciprocating with Donald’s phone, maybe Graham would have gotten the call up from the JV to the Varsity debate stage.
6) Bobby Jindal’s Kids Don’t Have the Time
Aside from the voyeurists amongst us, I feel like we can all agree that that was an incredibly uncomfortable video to suffer through. But ignore the perched hidden camera for now, let’s just embrace the fact that Bobby Jindal’s kids totally don’t care that their dad is running for POTUS.
Maybe their apathy is due to the fact that they know their dad doesn’t have a shot in hell of winning, maybe they just don’t give a shit. Either way, I get the feeling that after shooting, Bob’s children forgot that he was running for President even faster than the rest of us.
5) Hillary Relegates Rosa
Hillary should have just ran her campaign using ink, loose leaf paper, and carrier pigeons. There’s not much to be said about this that hasn’t already been tweeted 1,000 times…but I might as well reinforce this. Really, the back of the avatar?
4) Marco Rubio Tries to Be Reagan
The Rubio campaign’s doomsday remake of the famous Reagan Campaign commercial was actually kind of clever. Without getting into the weeds of his Armageddon Politics, this shot-by-shot parody of the Reagan video is very well thought out and produced…except for one thing.
The opening shot. The one viewers are most likely to see and most likely to remember. Is that the Seattle Space Needle in the background? Is that tug boat floating in New York Harbor? No, that’s Vancouver.
If only Canadian-born Ted Cruz had thought this little piece of content up, the jokes would be endless.
3) Hillary Clinton Only Wants to Communicate via Emoji
After she was finished chilling in Cedar Rapids, Hillary again tried to get millennials enthusiastic about her campaign. “Millennials love emojis”, she dashed and dotted on her two-way telegraph line to John Podesta, and thus this Michelangelic tweet was born.
Just be yourself Hill, the pandering was never going to work.
2) Hillary to Trump: “Delete Your Account”
This seemed like a good idea. Obviously crafted by someone savvy enough to understand the implications to tweeting “delete your account” in response to someone on Twitter. The mistake here is that Hillary is stomping all over Trump’s turf. Trump is the king of Twitter. This is hubris at its worst. This is Hitler crossing the Molotov-Ribbentrop.
Trump never engaged Hillary in a meaningful debate on things she’s an expert in, like diplomacy and public policy. Hillary never should have engaged with Trump in his area of expertise.
1) Jeb! Bush Likes Guns
Just days before being cast off into political purgatory, Jeb! Bush left us with one lasting memory of his ironclad Presidential campaign.
Jeb! Bush may look like a sweetheart with his shy smile and soft eyes, but don’t cross him…he’ll America you right out of here.
Unfortunately for Jeb, the only pistol he had was from a Belgium-based arms manufacturer. Fortunately though he had the forethought to etch his name into it, just in case he ever lost it, or something, I think.