We talked recently about the National Republican Congressional Committee’s new plan for its online presence, which apparently means emulating BuzzFeed. And sure enough, the NRCC has launched its new site, including a BuzzFeed-esque story near the top of the page: “13 Animals That Are Really Bummed on ObamaCare’s Third Birthday.”
But Alex Seitz-Wald noticed something missing from the revamped site: “The buzzy new website from House Republicans doesn’t mention the fact that they’re Republicans.” Jed Lewison highlighted the homepage masthead before…
… and after.
Sure, for folks more familiar with politics, it’s hardly a mystery what the “R” in “NRCC” stands for, but I imagine plenty of people who might stumble upon the website, perhaps through social media, would have no idea what the NRCC is.
Also, I should note in fairness that the site does include a disclaimer about being “paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee,” but it’s literally the only use of the word Republicans and it appears at the very bottom of a long homepage. It is, in other words, easy to miss.
And so the question is, how deliberate was the omission? We know Republicans are admittedly worried about their brand and the perception that they’re not “cool,” which is no doubt one of the reasons the NRCC decided to emulate BuzzFeed in the first place. So how concerned were party leaders that casual visitors might be turned off if they saw the word “Republican”? Is part of the rebranding effort a conscious decision to start avoiding the party’s name on purpose?