Sunday 23 September 2018

Leo must not spin out of control with his media message

Varadkar's carefully crafted modern communications may not appeal to voters, writes Philip Ryan

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Just over 30 minutes after Leo Varadkar delivered his first address at a Fine Gael party conference as Taoiseach, a video appeared on his Twitter account. The 21-second video showed the Taoiseach surrounded by half-a-dozen party members asking people to "join the conversation" and tell him what they thought of his speech.

After he finishes speaking, there is a brief pause before the party members, clearly acting on instruction, cheer feebly. One member even makes an unfortunate hand gesture during the forced excitement. As they cheer, the Taoiseach looks sheepishly at the ground and tries his best to hold in a grimace. It was all very awkward and naturally social media had great fun mocking it.

In years to come, historians might pinpoint this video as the exact moment Leo Varadkar lost his soul to spin.

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