Ann Romney looks on as Donald Trump and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shake hands during a news conference held by Trump to endorse Mitt Romney for president
Mitt Romney has a problem - he has Donald Trump on his side. Which means he has to at times appear with Donald Trump. He has to pretend to agree with Donald Trump. He'll no doubt have to apologize to Donald Trump. And now and then he has to listen to Donald Trump.
All of which is enough to make someone think twice about being a Republican nominee.
But maybe the Republicans need to listen to Trump's latest rant - directed against the RNC's own attack ad directed at President Obama, accusing him of being too cool to be president.
Most of the time, I'd prefer to ignore the Donald. However, Trump knows marketing - he makes more money licensing his name to real estate than he does by owning real estate. And he knows TV - he played the presidential speculation game with such savvy that it boosted his ratings (if not his popularity). He may not know policy, governance, tact or taste - but since when are those important factors in campaign advertising?
Whether you thought the Super PAC-pumped primaries were awful or amusing, you're about to see more from both sides that will range from regrettable to ridiculous. And as much as Americans say we don't like attack ads, sadly polls show they work.
But in the era of internet media, more companies are also realizing another avenue that works: investing in creative programming that audiences choose to consume, rather than ads that viewers are simply subjected to. After all, Trump's best advertisement for his own brand is a TV program that attracts viewers, not an advertising blitz that attacks them.
Could the two major presidential candidates create media that we select rather than commercials we frown at? If it works for the growing industry of branded content, maybe it could work for politics. It could be more positive - and at least it would be more entertaining.
Regardless, there's no doubt we'll keep hearing from Donald Trump, because that's what Donald Trump does. Thankfully, we can make a choice that Mitt Romney can't make: When we see The Donald, we can turn him off.
Justin Krebs is a political organizer and writer based in New York City. He is the founder of Living Liberally, a nationwide network of 250 local clubs that create social events around progressive politics, and author of "538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal."
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