“Alright, I’m on the way to a town hall, but first, let me take a selfie.”
So says Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., who goes on to post a spoof of the viral video “#SELFIE” by The Chainsmokers on YouTube, mixing the song with his own self-taken pictures with constituents, fellow lawmakers and others.
Duffy posed with Barbara Walters and Speaker John A. Boehner and even took a “bipartisan selfie” with House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.
He’s even included some of Roll Call’s own documentation of him selfie-ing! Toward the end of the video, that picture of him doing a video selfie on the East Front? Photo Editor Bill Clark took that one.
“I’m jumping on a trend to try to engage my younger constituents,” Duffy told Mashable. “They need to know that a lot of what’s happening now will impact their futures. If taking a ‘selfie’ with the chair of the SEC, Steny Hoyer or Alzheimer’s research advocates, gets their attention, then it’s worth it. Plus, it’s fun.”
Duffy has been taking selfies and posting short selfie videos for more than a year. “It’s more candid and he can be more off the cuff, which people respond to,” said Duffy’s spokesperson, Cassie Smedile.
Smedile said when constituents and other groups come into Duffy’s office, they often want to take a selfie with the congressman, in addition to the posed photo.
When Duffy’s staff saw the song “#SELFIE” taking off online a few weeks ago, they thought it would be a fun idea to use Duffy’s photos to create their own video and the congressman was on board. According to Smedile, the House Republican Conference’s digital team helped assemble the video during the recent recess.
The response has been “overwhelmingly positive in a way that I think even surprised us,” said Smedile. She said Duffy’s younger constituents have been especially responsive to the video, sharing it with friends online and retweeting it as well.
“The point of it was to try and engage this younger constituency that isn’t necessarily paying attention to what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis, and we were shocked that they responded to it like they did.” said Smedile.
So far, the video has nearly 9,000 views on YouTube. The Wisconsin Republican is no stranger to the limelight; he was a cast member on MTV’s “Real World” and “Road Rules” reality programs.