What the GOP Can Learn from the WWE’s Zack Ryder (or, “Woo Woo Woo, Newt Gingrich Knows It!”)

I like to look at how non-political entities use social media to see what tricks we can steal. Last night while I was watching former dark horse candidate Newt Gingrich on YouTube while waiting for his debate against Jon Huntsman to be embedded, it came to me that the GOP could really learn a lot from WWE superstar (and the L.I.’s own) Zack Ryder. No, seriously.

Ryder was what cats in the wrestling biz call a “midcard jobber,” who occasionally won a match no one saw so that the same five superstars hogged up all the air time. It’s the political equivalent of a candidate running at 2% in the polls trying trying to grab media attention from the same few more established candidates that get all the air time.

So what did he do? Instead of complaining aboot Triple H, he channeled his drive and creative energy into a weekly YouTube TV series:


Little by little, fans started to watch, started to get entertained, started bring signs to shows, and started chanting for him to where even the WWE Not Very Creative Team could ignore that he was one of the three most popular wrestlers they have.

Newt Gingrich did something similar. He was at the low single digit in the polls until the debate’s started, where he’d get five minutes top to make the best of it. He did with every question he got, and his campaign started putting video’s on YouTube with all of his answers and sound bites, just like with last Saturday’s debate:

Much like how Zack Ryder started to get more and more air time on WWE TV, Gingrich went from a few minutes of questions to this one that is close to twenty. And just like Ryder has found himself at the top of the WWE rankings, Newt is at the top of the GOP polls.

The lesson to be learned? You don’t need to have as much money as Mitt Romney or make Vince McMahon as much money as John Cena does. Sometimes all you need is a little creativity, a video camera and/or copy of Final Cut, and the motivation to put the work in to succeed.

Yes, I’m serious bro!

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