Vincent Ferrer/The Mirror

Former civilian naval mathematician and pizza company executive turned… politician?

If this weren’t enough to talk about, Herman Cain’s new campaign advertisement has succeeded in getting people to discuss nothing else but this wacky presidential candidate.  Unfortunately for him, most of the talking takes the form of ill-concealed laughter.

The first time I watched it, I burst out into laughter. I went back afterwards to check if it was a parody, seriously hoping to prove my assumptions. Sadly, it was not.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the ad opens with a sad mustached man sitting on the steps outside a building. Now if I were to pause the video here, I would imagine he just lost his job and is going through a mid-life crisis. Maybe he wants to purchase a motorcycle but cannot afford to do so. To the surprise of the viewer, he instead introduces himself as Herman Cain’s Chief of Staff Mark Block before beginning a vaguely patriotic rant.

“Tomorrow is one day closer to the White House,” Block proclaims. Disregarding the depressed look on his face,  the ad had not yet run off its rails at this point.

“We’ve run a campaign like nobody’s ever seen. But then, America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain,” Block continues, “We need you to get involved, because together we can do this. We can take this country back.”

And he’s right! Cain has run a campaign that can be called unorthodox without reserve. Ignoring the early-primary states Iowa and New Hampshire, he is cruising through the southern states, which do not hold primaries until March.

As for his platform, he has said that no bill should be longer than three pages, that there should be an electric fence at the US-Mexico border and that the best tax plan is the 9-9-9 plan (almost identical to the default plan in the videogame SimCity.)

Next, in a baffling change of pace, the refrain of Krista Branch’s Tea Party anthem “I Am America”plays as Block takes a drag from a cigarette and blows smoke directly at the camera, all the while not breaking eye contact with the startled faces on the other side of the screen.

As a supplement to Block’s comment that America has never seen a candidate like Herman Cain and his musical cigarette drag, the audience is finally shown exactly what a candidate like Herman Cain looks like in an all too close-up. Cain slowly smiles at the camera with a twinkle in his eye, taking a full eight seconds to do so. Eight painful, uncomfortable seconds.

Regardless of the logic behind Mustache Mark’s cigarette and Herman’s creepy smile, the advertisement certainly achieved its goal. People are talking about (and laughing at) Herman Cain. Mark McKinnon, an advisor to both former President Bush and John McCain’s ad campaigns, has apparently suppressed his laughter, saying, “It sort of gives you the impression that Herman Cain knows something you don’t know. Keep your eye on this guy.”

Mr. McKinnon, I will certainly keep my eye on Herman Cain, because he keeps on staring at me in his advertisements!

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.