Lightweight presidential campaign all about branding

This is what our presidential campaign has come to. A Twitter fight.

Is this a reflection of them? Or us?

Philip Bump, writing on the Washington Post, notes that it’s about brand awareness, not really anything that has any value in terms of, you know, deciding who should be the next persident.

Hillary Clinton ostensibly wanted people to read her plan to address college costs, but recognizing that no one would, she wanted people to know that she had such a plan, so her team made a nice little image that could leverage the link as an excuse to exist. (No one who works in media ever does stuff like this, of course.)

Campaigns know that you don’t actually care about policy proposals beyond the broadest of strokes, so Clinton was just trying to let you know that those strokes were out there. The campaign tossed out the tweet understanding that her Twitter team — meaning her energetic followers — would retweet it and promote it.

Then Bush responded. He had two goals: Creating an image for his team to pass around — little social lapel pins showing they’re on team Jeb! — and to try to get the Attention of the Media. If you want the attention of normal people, you post stuff to Facebook. If you want the attention of the media, you tweet.

So Bush’s plan worked. Clinton’s response to Bush had these same two goals, and Bush’s second response was mostly just so he could have the last word.

But let’s back up just a second. Why wouldn’t people read a politician’s plan on a major policy?