Remember the premise of "The Producers," where struggling Broadway impresarios hatch a get-rich-quick scheme to make a big bomb, but instead create something that is so bad it is good. That is the direction that political viral videos are taking, with creations that are so intentionally offbeat and bizarre that they are all but guaranteed to get attention. It's why we've seen Carly Fiorina's Demon Sheep and Mike Gravel's Rock.
The winner so far of the Max Bialystock contest may be leading GOP candidate Herman Cain, whose team unveiled a new video called "Now is the time for action!" but is quickly being deemed the "smoking" spot, in which his chief of staff touts Cain's accomplishments while smoking a cigarette. You wonder whether it would pass muster on FCC restrictions on tobacco advertising, and critics already are noting Cain's spate of donors from the tobacco industry. It flies in the face of trends toward condemning smoking, and perhaps even is yet another jab at President Obama and his varied attempts to quit.
Cain's chief of staff Mark Block told Fox News, "You walk into a veterans' bar in Iowa and they're sitting around smoking, and yeah, we are resonating with them. I'm not the only one that smokes in America for God's sake. It's a choice that I made, and was at the end of the ad," he said.
Tim Miller, Jon Huntsman's campaign spokesman, Tweeted after the spot's debut on Monday, "Herman Cain's ad guy to Fred Davis: 'Your move amigo.'" Davis, the Hollywood-based adman who created Demon Sheep, is working for Huntsman.
As you will see from the spot below, that is not on the only thing strange about the video. But that is the point. It has so far passed 80,000 views, and plenty of exposure in free media.
Huntsman on Colbert: Jon Huntsman appeared on "The Colbert Report" on Monday, but a portion of his appearance was cut. According to ABC News, "when Colbert played a sound effect of a stereotypical Chinese riff, Huntsman joked, “When’s the delivery food coming?” After a few seconds of awkward silence, Colbert replied, “Did that go over well in Beijing?” This portion of the interview was cut for time from the broadcast."
“I am so ready for the Colbert bump,” Huntsman told Colbert. Colbert responded, “Governor, you may be at two percent. We’re going to get you up to whole milk.”
Obamajam: Los Angeles commuters were plenty irate last night and this morning from President Obama's visit, expressing their frustrations on Tweets. After taping "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" this morning in Burbank, Obama left on Air Force One shortly before noon. Next time, maybe a weekend visit?