Own your own story

Anthony Weiner is running for Mayor of New York City.

So there are a lot of things to like about the video. First of all, I love the message, I love how he ties his story of growing up to the story of a City. As a naitive New Yorker, his theme, that New York is moving awy from average middle class folks feels like it could powerfully resonate with a lot of people.

Emotionally I think the tone is right.

But… I question the decision to put the ‘appology’ so far into the video almost 2/3rds at 1:44). That’s the elephant in the room for Weiner. Right now that mea culpa is almost brushed off, then he’s sitting wife by his side (which was the most awkward part of the video).

But what if he made the appology and the sin a part of his story? What if he started with that, owned his mistke, but then turned it into part of his rationale for running… (It was embarrassing, I messed up, I was dumb, I hurt a lot of people, and let more people down. It would be easy to listen to the pundits and the tabloids, to not run, to save myself the embarrassment, but you know PUT MESSAGE & STORY HERE.)

You have to own your story, all the parts of it because if you don’t others will.

I have a saying, everything before the “but” is a lie or doesn’t matter: I really like you but…, You’re a great assest to this company, but…, you did a great job on that project, but…..

I think Weiner wants to shrug off the appology, wants to deflect the elephant in the room instead of embracing it (that’s a mixed metaphor or a poor one for sure). Ultimately I think that will do him in rather than help him.

This is a pretty good opening video, but….


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2 Responses to “Own your own story”

  1. dave Says:

    liked it. i think the logic of putting it later is reasonable. that’s the bit you want to see… so you’re waiting for it. but i hear you. small point – but editing was not smooth. Huma section had some awkwardness. but overall… cant help but like him. so i call it a win.

    • Adam Strasberg Says:

      re: Appology. I hear you, but I still wish he owned it more, even if it comes later to hold attention. Though the downside to that strategy is that you’re thinking about the appology the whole time he’s talking waiting for it, not sure it puts the viewer into the proper emotional frame.

      re: Editing. The video was rough, I agree. Some of the camera fames, the editing, the shots, it wasn’t super clean. There’s an old saying if you notice the boom in the shot, then it doesn’t matter because the scene isn’t working. I felt like the video was working, so the rougher production elements didn’t bother me. Though they easily could have.

      Overall, he does come off as likable, but is that going to be enough? Is it enough to remind people that he was once likable before he was a pariah? I guess we don’t know what the internal goal of the video was. If likablity is enough, then ok its a win. Though I think they were shooting for something more, maybe likability and serious candidate (or at least not a joke, which is probably a lower bar), does he achieve that bar? Yea, I guess, though it’s hard to see him with his wife and not cringe a little bit (I know I did). And because he doesn’t own the scandal, I was thinking about it the entire time, even as I found his message compelling.

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