Pawlenty has also amped up his stump speech, working to infuse it with more passion and provocative phrases. “The government’s too damn big!” he now tells people.
But he has also enlisted the help of one of the most talented young video specialists in the conservative world.
Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old former Hillary Clinton supporter, is Canadian-born and dresses in perfectly-starched white shirts, slim-fitting sports jackets and tight designer jeans.
His job is to make Pawlenty appear larger than life. And he’s good at it.
“Lucas can make rather emotionless things emotional, so good for the rap on Pawlenty!” emailed veteran GOP admaker Fred Davis, who produced Carly Fiorina’s memorable “Demon Sheep” ad last year.
Baiano’s 90-second video for Pawlenty’s book tour, released in January, bears all the distinctive trademarks of Baiano’s style: stirring music that builds and builds; sound effects more often heard in feature film previews; perhaps most distinctively, a cinematographic style that mixes off-center head shots with herky-jerky behind the scenes moments, spliced with the clever use of iconographic historical footage, all edited so that the images come flying at you at a breakneck speed, providing an energy that combines with a more rhythmic overall pacing.
In short, it could be a political ad, but it could also be a trailer for something like “Independence Day.”
You can go to the link above and watch the totally bitchin’ best Pawlenty video evah, but let’s leap ahead and see how effective it was in creating enough buzz that chain bookstores scheduled special midnight book release parties where kids dressed up as Tim Pawlenty (khaki pants, logo-less JC Penny polo shirts, comfortable shoes, demi-mullet) and waited in line so they could be the first kid on their block to score a copy of “Courage To Stand: My Battle To Not Have To Sit To Pee” by Tim Pawlenty:
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s week-old book blitz got him plenty of face-time on national television, but he’s not in best-seller territory yet.
Nielsen BookScan, a national data provider for the book publishing industry, shows a total of 4,765 sales of Pawlenty’s Courage to Stand as of Wednesday, the vast majority since the beginning of his national book tour in New York on Jan. 11.
Actual sales could be a bit higher, since BookScan only counts sales at national bookstore chains, Amazon, and indy book sellers who chose to report. The general rule of thumb is that the service counts about 75 percent of total sales.
Obviously, Lucas Baiano is no Leni Riefenstahl, but you go to war with the bland lifeless demagogue you have, not the demagogue you wish you had.