TBG and I were channel surfing and even the magic fingers tickling the remote were stunned and immobilized by the last 15 seconds of this ad. Is Mark Bloch, Herman Cain's campaign manager and COO of The Friends of Herman Cain really blowing smoke?
I just don't get it. If I were The Onion, I'd create an add like this. Did no one in Mr. Cain's campaign ever take a course in literature? Has no one there ever hear of allusion? taking a drag on a ciggie may make you feel like a real man (more on that below... believe me, lots more on that below) but you've left the viewer while blowing smoke ... which The Urban Dictionary defines as giving a gratuitous and insincere compliment, possibly to deceive.
If that's not the perfect definition of a campaign ad, I don't know what is. The in your face nature of this one is just so blatant, so insulting, so perfect.
Perfect, you ask? Yes, perfect, I reply. Perfect because we are talking about it and any publicity is better than no publicity in today's political climate. Some of us are actually paying attention to the words, but my guess is most of America is fast forwarding or muting through most of these commercials. The image of an old white guy with a cigarette might just draw the wayward eye back to the screen. It's certainly caught the attention of my fingers, and those of Slate and Time and many of my bloggy and Facebook cronies.
I hate feeding the frenzy but I can't let it go by. I tried. I really did. But then I found this one
and my fingers refused to stay still.
It's long, I know, but it's so awful and manipulative that I watched in amazement for the whole 3 minutes and 42 seconds. I'm not sure I was breathing; it felt more like gasping.
If you can't devote the time, or you're at work and can't be caught watching, here's a brief precis: The main character is international film and television star Nick something or other, a fact he reveals at 2:05 in the video. Before that, you see him riding up to what at first blush looked like an outhouse but which turned out to be the home of a damsel. The guys hanging out near the door spit and scratch and give Nick crap for carrying yellow flowers. His response?
Why's it always got to be about color? What are you guys..... liberal?I suppose that makes my noting that it was the black guy spitting on Nick's boot racist. Honestly, I just don't know. The only certainty I have is that the long shot and then the close up of the saliva dripping was less than pleasant. Almost as unpleasant as Nick's ending voice over about empty phrases like hope and change and snarky references to community organizers reading lines on a teleprompter written by others just as he forgets his own line and has to ask for the cue.
Is he promoting stupidity? Inability to remember? Lack of competence to do his job? It's not like it was a hard line, either..... Ok, punk, get real shouldn't call for extraordinary acts of mental gymnastics if you are really an international film and tv star, should it?
His tagline is "I stand for Herman Cain because Herman Cain stands for us." Aside from the obvious grammatical inconsistency (there's no one else in the frame and his conversation has been all me and I) I'm not sure what the message is. Herman Cain represents those who do their jobs marginally? Herman Cain represents those who use their fists to solve their problems?
Neither of these ads has the I'm Herman and I approve this ad verbiage; PAC and SuperPAC monies must be involved. But each of them has Mr. Cain's fabulous smile (c'mon, we can disagree with him and still think he has a pretty face, can't we?) grinning from ear to ear through chubby cheeks right out at you at the end.
He seems as if he's a likeable guy. The fact that his 9-9-9 plan is simple to understand doesn't mean that it is appropriate for our country, even if he smiles when he describes it. I'm glad he built a business. I just wonder what 25% of Republican primary voters are supporting this morning. He has a muddled perspective on abortion and no real knowledge of foreign policy or even foreign countries. He has no history (that I can find) of having weighed in on the issues in a substantive way. And now, with the opportunity to speak to America and offer to lead us he is relying on blowing smoke.
If there's someone out there who can explain this to me, I am all ears.