Can Hipster Glasses Save the GOP?

A new Republican ad campaign lets young people know it’s OK to vote Republican.

National Journal
Lucia Graves
March 17, 2014, 8:14 a.m.

It’s now con­ven­tion­al wis­dom that if Re­pub­lic­ans are go­ing to com­pete in fu­ture pres­id­en­tial elec­tions, they must carve out pock­ets of Barack Obama’s co­ali­tion — and par­tic­u­larly young voters. That has proved dif­fi­cult with is­sues like gay mar­riage, marijuana leg­al­iz­a­tion, and im­mig­ra­tion re­form, where the GOP’s views dif­fer from those of many young Amer­ic­ans.

But what if they can could stick to their core val­ues and still make in­roads with the young­er gen­er­a­tion? What if, as part of a six-fig­ure cable ad buy, they could get a mus­ta­chioed twentyso­mething or thirtyso­mething in a leath­er jack­et and tor­toise-shell glasses to pro­claim he’s for an “all of the above” en­ergy strategy and there­fore a Re­pub­lic­an?

Enter Scott Green­berg, who, em­ploy­ing the pat­en­ted Michele Bach­mann strategy of nev­er look­ing dir­ectly at the cam­era, pro­claims he’s all for us­ing “sol­ar, wind, shale, gas, oil “¦ whatever!”

Scott seems like a very nice guy. He lives in the D.C. area and does PR for the Wash­ing­ton Bal­let, or so we’ve gleaned from the In­ter­net. He’s also a re­cent homeown­er (con­grats man!) and tweets things about St. Vin­cent and We Were Pir­ates and stuff!

The bit about him say­ing he’s a Re­pub­lic­an be­cause he be­lieves in an “all of the above” en­ergy strategy, however, is just strange. That’s Obama’s line! Or at least he’s re­peatedly called for an “all of the above” strategy, even after green groups de­man­ded he ditch the rhet­or­ic, as Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s Ben Ge­man re­por­ted.

Re­pub­lic­ans in­sist that “all of the above” was ori­gin­ally their phrase, and a curs­ory tra­cing of the phrase by The New Times re­veals that they did in fact coin it. (John Mc­Cain and Sarah Pal­in were us­ing it on the cam­paign trail in 2008 and Rep. Fred Up­ton picked it up again when he be­came head of the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee after Re­pub­lic­ans took back the House in 2010.)

But White House spokes­man Clark Stevens has dis­missed the no­tion of catch­phrase ap­pro­pri­ation, telling The Times that Obama em­bod­ies the idea Re­pub­lic­ans pop­ular­ized. Re­pub­lic­ans dis­pute that on that grounds that, for in­stance, his EPA reg­u­la­tions are anti-coal.

An­oth­er thing! Green­berg is re­portedly vexed over gas prices, but prices are ac­tu­ally down from where they’ve been in the last two years. Broaden the time­frame and it’s true that prices are up from where they were 10 years ago. But Green­berg shouldn’t know that. He’s a mil­len­ni­al!

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