Tuned In

Did Sarah Silverman Do Obama a Mitzvah?

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You didn’t have to be Jewish to watch Sarah Silverman’s The Great Schlep video, but it helped. As you know if you’re one of the millions of people who watched it, in the spot, Silverman made a tongue-in-cheek-but-also-serious argument for Jewish grandkids to visit bubbe and zayde in Florida and convince them to set aside the he’s-a-Muslim rumors and vote for Barack Obama. 

Big YouTube hit. But did it actually accomplish anything? An early New York Times article was skeptical, reporting that though the video had 7 million views (at the time), only 100 people had actually schlepped to the Sunshine State. A piece in TV Week, however, looks back on the Schlep more positively, saying that 25,000 viewers signed up for the trip, and 1.5 million downloaded “talking points” (perhaps to make a more economical phone call to the grandparents). Of course, the figures did come from the advertising firm that created the site. 

Obama carried the ever-close state by two-and-a-half points, so I suppose you can make the argument that—as always with close races—everything made some difference. But it would have been so much more effective paired with a Jimmy Kimmel response video.

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