What with all its social media and excruciatingly current references, the whole world appears to know the White House is hip, and very skilled at being hip. Does this mean the Grand Old Party should up its pop culture factor as two big elections approach, and proverbial "big tent" thinking beckons? Oh, but it's complicated, particularly as conservatives pine for common-sense standard-bearers and the political landscape becomes more trivialized. It would be folly to compromise a reliable Republican brand in the search for more diverse voter interest. Or is it worth the risk? The competition is out there.
He was a former senior adviser to George W. Bush and the author of "What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House", published by Regnery Books in September. Mr. Troy points out that Mr. Obama's reference to "Mad Men" during his State of the Union speech was the most tweeted moment of the entire event.
"The Democrats have some natural advantages in pop culture, but not every Democratic candidate in the future will be as savvy as Obama. That said, the GOP does need to put up more of an effort on the pop culture front in the future," Mr. Troy concludes.
Complicated, but doable? Perhaps. The Republican Party may have to consult the Ronald Reagan playbook on this recommendation. The Gipper appeared hip in the sense that he was of good cheer, canny and young at heart, minus annoying attitude. He balanced show biz acumen with authentic political and diplomatic prowess and underlying inner mettle. But enough fancy jabber. The answer, then, is this: Yes, Republicans can be hip, or get hip or get hipper — as long as style doesn't overwhelm substance, values and principles, or become a substitution for same. Then GOP would simply translate to Great Opportunity Plundered.