Okay – this month we railed against some of the ignorance, laziness and arrogance that frames how we enter election cycles here in NZ, but our complaints are minor compared to enduring the shitshow that is the Republican Primary race over in the US. The campaign, running hot, fast, and viscous/vicious as we speak, determines who has the best credentials to go up against Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. In populist GOP terms this has led to the race to the bottom of the barrel in terms of social and economic policy.
Naturally, these personalities and policies need good, slick American-style TV (in 2011, read “youtube”) ads to go alongside them. Here are ten of the best. For fairness’s sake, we have left out this Herman Cain ad – partly because it’s more of a showcase for his demented X-Files Smoking Man campaign manager, partly because it would dominate the pack unfairly. Similarly, video ads only – although everyone has to see this comic book Michele Bachmann put out.
Get through all these babies, then try and have a happy 2012. Love, the Panty Punch.
10. “Vindicating Herman Cain”
“It’s time for the truth…the media won’t tell you what one of the foremost lie detector experts in American said about Herman Cain…” Cue media soundbite of “T.J Ward” of “Investigative Consultants Int’l” indicating Cain’s truthfulness and innocence (not so his female accuser). Although it’s pretty funny that scientific studies have demonstrated that Ward’s software, which looks a bit like Audacity on a nice computer, is no more reliable than flipping a coin, I like the bleak, tawdry aspect of this most of all. Cain on the downswing.
9. “I’m Michele Bachmann And I’m Running For President”
Insane Minnesotan Michele Bachmann’s campaign has ground to a standstill in between her assertions that vaccines cause “mental retardation”, and alleging that a fatal hurricane was God’s warning to Washington. I was disappointed by how low-key her kickoff ad was at first, but ultimately its devastating crap cheapness – its creapness? – gets to me, in conjunction with the mania of her stare.
8. Rick Perry: “Faith”
“I’m not ashamed to say I’m a Christian. But you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can openly serve in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in schools.”
Haha, “gays”. Fuck you Rick Perry, you’ll appear in this list again.
7. Sarah Palin’s “Iowa Passion”
She still counts, cos she was making overtures like this before pulling out of the race. Two excruciating minutes of Sarah Palin speaking in heartland Iowa, during which she orders deep-fried butter from a stall to a soundtrack of Christian rock. Watch all the way to the end for inexplicable surprise bear.
6. Mitt Romney’s “Not A Bump In The Road”
This is amazing for many reasons, not least of which the fact that the healthy plurality of Romney-bros (fat relatable bro, veteran bro, pregnant Latina bro) holding up signs with their sob stories directly anticipates the “I am the 99%” pitch used by the OWS movement. Did they even see this? Hippies. Anyway it’s quite a well-made ad although I don’t know why Drew Carey appears at 1:05 and I’m not sure if all of them fucking off and leaving their Mitt Romney placards on the ground strikes the triumphant or redemptive note the makers may have been aiming for.
5. Rick Perry’s “Proven Leadership”
A huge, ridiculous, movie-trailer style video in which Perry appears to correctly identify the cause of American’s woes. Namely, it is a deserted post-apocalyptic society.
4. Jon Huntsman’s cute daughters
Jon Huntsman is probably the least evil figure in the GOP race. He’s a socially liberal entrepreneur who tweets about Captain Beefheart and terrifies fundo Christians by dressing like this. In other words he is the most Important hipster politician since Epsom’s Paul Goldsmith and will never ever be president in a million years. His alt daughters made this inscrutable viral ad for him that is actually pretty amazing, and again, indicates that he will never ever be president in a million years.
3. Perry’s mea culpa
In early November, Perry cancelled out the early promise of his post-apocalyptic gay bashing by having a brain explosion and forgetting on live TV which three State Departments he would disestablish. His campaign thought it would be a good idea to play it to us all over again while promising that if he becomes President Americans can expect more of the same. Watch to the end for a great little chuckle! Fuck you, Rick Perry.
2. Ron Paul’s banned “Beijing: 2030″ ad
Another glossy and expensive clusterfuck that, unlike Perry, intentionally sets up a dystopic future-world and runs with it. The main thing that makes the year 2030 dystopic, in this case, is Chinese people. Even those who are repulsed by the combination of self-regard and racism should enjoy the way this ad holds its breath for so long to try and make a room of young Asian people look normal and benign before you have their lecturer turn to face us, the viewers, and laugh evilly. Like a great big satisfying exhale of dick.This would be number one were it not for:
1. Ron Paul’s “Big Dog” ad
The sine qua non of loud and stupid political advertising. This is literally Idiocracy on anabolics. Must be seen to be believed. Ron Paul is history’s greatest monster, and I’m not at all sure that I mean “greatest” in a pejorative sense. Wake me when the Act Party’s ads are this good, then promptly euthanise me.