Politicians are always thirsty for internet popularity, but it seems Hillary Clinton has cracked the code to online fame without even realizing it. Clinton has become a minor sensation on Vine.
In one of the many half-hearted political attempts to engage with
millennials, Hillary Clinton shared a Snapchat back in July where she held the phone way too close to her face to let her audience know she was "just chillin'…in Cedar Rapids." A Vine user by the name of "its moi" captured the video and uploaded it to her feed:
As of this post, the Vine has been looped more than 17 million times, has more than 131,000 likes and 10,000 comments, and has been reposted on Vine more than 76,000 times. It's also become a mild meme.
A quick lesson on Vine memes: there are a lot of them, and they can blaze into monstrous success overnight only to burn out in a day or two. Somebody posts a clip that's either strange, funny, or otherwise memorable, and other Vine users quickly interpret it into their own clips. A recent example: "What Are Those?" sprang from a Vine of a man inquiring about a police officer's fugly work boots. Leagues of other Viners then cribbed the audio and made their own versions with varying degrees of creativity and success.
Because Vine is a platform largely embraced by a younger audience (the biggest Vine stars are almost exclusively teens), this isn't all that surprising. It's like your inside jokes from high school: You had a million of them, they made zero sense to outsiders, and you were always updating your roster for the inside joke of the week. By the time an aging millennial like me is able to suss out the origin of a Vine meme, it's usually past its expiry date.
And that brings us to Clinton. After its moi Vined the recorded Snapchat, people began pulling the audio and video into Vines of their own:
It hasn't reached the same level of success as some memes, but it's out there. Many of the Vines tagged with "Hillary Clinton" and "Cedar Rapids" are riffs on the meme, and Viners of shockingly young ages are using the line as a kind of catch phrase to bug their friends:
Politicians are always eager to penetrate oft-elusive groups like tech-savvy youth. Take Ted Cruz's Simpsons impressions Buzzfeed video or his bacon-on-a-machine-gun stunt, for example. (Come to think of it, maybe only Ted Cruz is out for the youth vote?)
But in this case, it's hard to tell if the mild popularity on Vine will serve Clinton any good. I sent an email to her press team but didn't get a response, and they haven't been trumpeting up the meme-age online as far as I could tell.
It could be because a lot of the Vines seem to be making fun of Clinton and her dorky, "I'm a cool mom" vibe. Or maybe it's just because most teens can't vote. Either way, at least the world can now bask in the knowledge that, for one brief shining moment, Hillary Clinton was the inside-jokes of teens around the world. Just because she was chillin: