The whole political world is talking about an odd political Web ad released by
In it, Cain campaign manager Mark Block riffs on why Cain should be president and then takes a drag off of a cigarette. Cain is shown full-screen for the ad’s final ten seconds — finally cracking a smile.
So, yeah, it’s kind of strange.
While Cain’s ad is certainly — very — odd it’s only the latest iteration of the increasingly strange ways in which political candidates try to drive interest and excitement in their campaigns.
Below are ten of our favorites television and Web ads for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
* Mike Gravel: “Rock”
No, it’s not just the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate and former Alaska senator staring at the camera. Something happens — and it’s glorious.
* Jim Bender: “YUM! YUM!”
You will never look at Uncle Sam the same way again, thanks to 2010 New Hampshire GOP Senate candidate Jim Bender.
* Dale Peterson: “We’re Better Than That!!!!”
An old Fix favorite from the Alabama Ag Commish candidate that just had to be included. Thugs and criminals!
* Vernon Robinson: “Twilight Zone”
This North Carolina congressional candidate is known for his over-the-top campaign ads, but this one takes the cake. From gay rights to abortion to illegal immigration, Robinson’s campaign packs them all into a one minute-long slab of red meat for social conservatives. A sample one-liner: “You can burn the American flag or kill a million babies a year, but you can’t post the 10 Commandments or say ‘God’ in public.’”
* Carly Fiorina: “Demon Sheep”
In fairness, this list could feature two, three or even four videos from GOP ad guru Fred Davis. As a master of the offbeat campaign ad, we struggled to pick just one. But even more than Christine O’Donnell’s “I Am Not A Witch” ad (and “Big John”), the “Demon Sheep” Web ad for 2010 California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is really what captured our imagination.
* Friends of People Against the Kicking in the Face of Children: “Sam Katz”
From our neighbor to the North and the Winnipeg mayor’s race. All you need to know is that there is video to back up this claim: “Sam Katz: He kicks children in the face. Nice.”
* Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.): “San Fransisco Values”
Say what you want about this over-the-top ad; Graves ran it early in 2008 and turned what was supposed to be a competitive race into a 22-point blowout — in a tough year for Republicans.
* Jim Slattery: “Hosed”
This ad would be weird enough even if it wasn’t made to look like a giant Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) lookalike was urinating on people. From 2008.
* Diane Benson: “Experience”
Benson was running for Alaska’s at-large congressional in 2008, but she apparently thought she was running for dog-catcher. (Warning: features video of what is believed to be actual dog poop.)
* Dwight McKenna: “Igor”
One would expect ads from the Orleans Parish coroner’s race to be weird, but this one exceeds expectations.