More people have seen Phil Davison’s impassioned plea to become county treasurer than live in his tiny town of Minerva, Ohio, but Davison told TPM in an interview today he wasn’t familiar with YouTube until he woke up this morning as an Internet sensation.
“I went home and had a ham sandwich and went to bed and thought that was the end of it,” Davison said when reached at home this afternoon. “A friend called, and well, I’m not very good with electronics, is there a YouTube? It was on some kind of electronic server.”
Davison is a 13-year city council member in Minerva, Ohio, about 90 minutes from Cleveland and not far from Pittsburgh. He’s been elected four times to represent the town of less than 4,000 people.
By now you’ve probably seen his freaked-out, rambling speech asking for Stark County Republicans to nominate him. “I don’t know how the speech is resonating,” he told me. (It’s been dubbed the Worst Political Speech Ever.)
Davison said his phone has been ringing off the hook today — mostly friends and family calling to tell him he’d gone viral. Not that he really knows what the means. He uses email, but wasn’t familiar with YouTube. He has no idea who took the now-famous video, which you can watch below.
Davison lost the nomination, but wants political newbies to start “a true peaceful revolution.”
Davison, 39, earns $260 per month for his part-time council position. He is in between employment and looking for work. His last job was as a bailiff at the county courthouse and he’s paying the bills thanks to a savings account.
He talked at length to TPM about his vision for government — he wants it to be “inclusive” and he wants to “make a positive change” for every day people. He’s a lifelong Republican and thinks the party will win back Congress this fall.
“I think it’s time we form a radical branch of the Republican Party,” Davison said. “We need to embrace diversity and include people who are frustrated with government, who truly want to make a change.”
We asked Davison about Pastor Terry Jones’ Koran-burning plans in Florida. He said they are “indicative of the unrest that our country has right now” and stressed that Jones has a Constitutional right to do what he wants.
“If it’s not a violation of any federal state or local law then it’s up to him,” Davison said. “I wouldn’t do it but I don’t condemn him for doing it.”
Watch the famed speech, captured by a Huffington Post citizen journalist: