Get it? “Lead?” As in, he’s dancing? Yeah. These jokes write themselves. Anyway, my colleague Sara Gonzales posted about the strange, new career path Rick Perry is taking: he’s gonna be on Dancing With The Stars! Awesome! …Right? I dunno. I don’t watch reality TV.
But, you know who does watch reality TV? People do. Lots of people. Millions of them. Rick Perry is going on a show that regularly has more than 10 million viewers (last year’s season finale alone had nearly 13.5 million viewers). Imagine if 13.5 million more people had voted for Rick Perry. He probably wouldn’t have flamed out as quickly as he did. And, dare I say, that’s the point.
I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if you saw more GOP politicians try to play the TV game beyond just the Sunday morning shows. Look at Donald Trump. His success is based on name recognition. Yeah, his “anti-PC” talk and his preaching on immigration and a wall between us and Mexico (that is physical, virtual, or perhaps made entirely of broken promises) all played a part, but he was already a famous nutjob before that.
And, if I know anything about the GOP today, it’s that they can take the data that’s right in front of them and either ignore it or misinterpret it so badly that doing nothing would have been preferable to what they chose to do. So, naturally, members of the GOP are going to look at Donald Trump, see the sudden value in name recognition, and decide that the liberal news media simply isn’t enough anymore. Now they need to be on (and trashed by) the liberal entertainment media.
So, Rick Perry could very well be the first, but I can’t believe he’s going to be the last. We’re not going to get Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio on DWTS, Bobby Jindal on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, or a 2016 GOP candidates version of Big Brother (however that would be hilarious). But more folks will undoubtedly try to cross the streams, probably with equal or greater success than Sarah Palin’s White People Have Another Bad Show On Our TLC.