Anthony Weiner has created a monster.
The Congressman is a YouTube star, with his videos frequently racking up hundreds of thousands of views.
The amazing fact is that the clips that go viral — like this one in which he mocks the GOP’s efforts to defund NPR — are speeches given on the floor of the House.
Essentially, Weiner has raised his public profile by making one of the traditionally most boring places on Earth actually interesting.
Other Congresspeople are starting to imitate the Representative from New York, employing his flair for theatrics in their speeches.
The latest: Representative Joe Crowley.
Except there were no words in his speech.
Crowley appeared armed with an easel-sized table of paper emblazoned with large words. He ripped page after page off as he gave his “speech.” The takeaway: The GOP’s actions left him “speechless.”
Is this an effective rhetoric device? Sure. But more than that, it is a ploy to gain wider recognition. A traditional (read: boring) speech on the House floor won’t garner any acclaim (or calls from television bookers). But a gimmick like a giant legal pad just might.
And it is working. The clip of Crowley has more than 85,000, significantly more than the vasy majority of the clips on Nancy Pelosi’s YouTube channel, where the video is posted. The channel has 2003 videos uploaded and almost 5 million views, an average of a little more than 2,000 views per video.
Weiner would be proud.