Consider my earlier suspicions confirmed: Before much longer, possibly even before the end of August, every marginal Republican running for president will do a viral video bit for some clickbait-y mega-site. First came Carly Fiorina’s sly spoof of sexism in the workplace for BuzzFeed, then came Lindsey Graham smashing up his phone for the IJ Review after Trump doxxed him. The IJR came back with Ted Cruz cooking bacon on the barrel of his AR-15, an ante-upper insofar as Cruz isn’t nearly as marginal as those other two candidates. How would BuzzFeed, with its vast audience, respond? I was expecting a hot-dog-eating contest between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, or maybe a dunk tank featuring Donald Trump, but no. They went back to the marginals and landed Bobby Jindal for a push-up challenge, the logic of which escapes me. Fiorina’s video was a commentary on her career as a pathbreaking CEO; Graham’s video showed his good humor after being pranked by Trump; Cruz’s video winked at his reputation as a grassroots firebreather. Jindal’s video … really just has him doing push-ups. You could have swapped in any other candidate without much difficulty. Maybe we’ve now reached the point where low-polling candidates feel obliged to accept any offer they get from a viral site to try to raise their name recognition, even if the stunt they’re being invited to perform is generic. Makes me wonder how the negotiations for these things go between the campaign and the website. Did BuzzFeed offer Jindal a choice between the push-ups and, say, getting hit in the face with a bunch of cream pies, and he chose this? Or did he actually propose this format himself? At this stage of American idiocracy, push-ups really might be the fastest way for a Rhodes scholar turned congressman turned governor to get noticed by young adults.
Actually, I should probably put “push-ups” in quotes. Unless that chest touches the floor, they don’t really count, son. Exit question: The inevitable Rick Perry viral video is going to be the most humiliating yet, isn’t it? If he was willing to pick a fight with Trump for weeks in hopes of getting attention, I wouldn’t rule out a cream-pies-to-the-face stunt later if it comes to that.