Be a Party: Kid President's campaign for capital fun
Nobody said that campaigning was easy. Sometimes all you want to do is take a nap. Sometimes it's lunch time! Presidential matters? No matter. There's cold cut combos on the table, and this 8-year-old leader of the free world missed his morning snack.
Robbie, the Tennessee tot whose YouTube gag as Kid President has policy makers acting like children, is feeling silly when I get him on the phone.
"He's just come out of the dentist," his handler and right-hand man, brother-in-law Brad Montague, tells me. "He's a little goofy right now."
No matter. I've simply got to have a word with this kid, Robbie, this disco-struttin' president who’s burning up the airwaves.
How was the dentist, Robbie?
"It was awwwwwesome," he says. "He stuck something in my mouth!"
What do you think this country should be looking for in a presidential candidate?
"They should be thinking like, 'Oooooh, wowwwwww, he's awesome! So cool! Yeah."
Can you be that man for our country?
"My videos are better and lots of people are watching, so yeah. I think that I can get a lot of people to do what I want."
Heavy-hitting stuff, I know, but it's hard to avoid softballs when you're speaking with an 8-year-old.
This particular 8-year-old may have one of the toughest jobs on YouTube, however. An elementary school student whose days revolve around third grade arithmetic and social sciences, Robbie (his mother asked that we withhold his last name) leaves school every afternoon so that he can transform into Kid President—the breakdancing, black-suit wearing commander in chief whose entire mantra since July has been "Don't be in a party. Be a party."
"This just started as a silly thing that we wanted to do," said KP handler Montague, who has history helping kids "change the world" as an organizer of Henderson, Tenn.'s GO! Camp. "We'd done some goofy stuff in the past making funny videos and songs together, and we just decided to make it because we thought some friends might like it. It kept going."
"It generally starts with a basic idea, and then we talk about it," Montague said. "We're always a little surprised with how it turns out.
"One really good example was when we decided to have him answer questions from readers, and one of the things everybody wanted to know was what political party he supported.
"I sat him down and explained everything to him, the political process and everything, and he just goes 'I'm not in a party. I am the party.'
"That was way more funny than anything I could have thought up."
So funny it's been, in fact, that the show was recently picked up by comedian Rainn Wilson's SoulPancake network, a new YouTube premium content channel that already has more than 60,000 subscribers.
It's a huge break for a kid who still has to find time for his homework every night.
"You know, I'm just a kid with some videos," Robbie announced during his SoulPancake induction. "Rainn Wilson, apparently he's famous but I've never heard of him. He invited me to be a guest star on this channel. I said 'Rainn Wilson, if you want me, you've got to get some pancakes.'"
Alright, sounds good, Kid President. Now that you've got your pancakes, tell us what you'd do to change Washington.
"I don't trust any grownups. I trust kids. Kids should be in charge."
On YouTube, one kid already is.
Photo via Kid President/YouTube