Tom Meyer’s take on Tom Campbell today finds the wannabe Republican Senator posing, Scott Brown-like, for a Cosmo centerfold. This makes Dudley Do Right the first California politician in history to be portrayed in one week as both a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a wolf in no clothing.
As the flapdoodle grew over rival Hurricane Carly Fiorina’s horrible web ad – which casts Dudley as an evil, liberal, ram in drag lurking dangerously amid the clueless GOP flock – the authentic awfulness of iCarly’s 3:22 online commercial could be measured by one simple fact: it was so bad that Campbell e-blasted it to his own supporters.
Embarrassing, inane and juvenile, the now-infamous Demon Sheep ad joins Fiorina’s much-panned campaign web site in establishing her clearly as the leading cyberdunce and technoklutz running in 2010 for any office anywhere in the nation.
While Hurricane Carly’s handlers on Thursday sought to make light of how badly the spot bombed across the far reaches of the internets (“in all seriousness, who doesn’t need some entertainment to supplement the drier aspects of politics” one of her mouthpieces averred in an e-mail – clunk) it was hard to find anyone in state politics who applauded it as a really, really swell idea.
“If a political consultant tried to cut a happy cows-make-great-cheese ad while on blotter acid, it would look something like this,” said one longtime Republican strategist not playing in the Senate race.
For Carly’s sake, Calbuzz sincerely hopes she didn’t pay eMeg-level prices for this dog, the most head-scratching narrative since “Mulholland Drive.” Putting aside the fact that calling the soft-spoken, terminally mild-mannered Tom Campbell a “wolf” is the coolest thing anybody’s said about him in 30 years, the ad suffers from two fatal flaws:
First, its production values reek of something that might be churned out by a decidedly untalented, would-be film studies major at Santa Monica City College. (which, truth be told, is unfair to SMCC students). The over-the-top narrator can’t decide whether he’s talking to Campbell or addressing the viewers, freely mixing up the second and third person voices, and the cheesy wolf face supposedly masking Campbell would be a disgrace to the average denizen of the Bidey Wee Pre-School and Toddler Care Center.
More substantively, the central message of the ad portrays conservative Republicans -– the people whose support Fiorina is supposedly seeking — as a flock of dumbass ovine, baa-baa-baaing while mindlessly munching grass and mooning the big bad wolf lurking in the meadow.
Accusing iCarly of being in full “mutton meltdown,” Campbell flack James Fisfis properly harrumphed: “Contrary to Carly Fiorina’s insulting portrayal of fiscal conservatives as sheep, these are in fact involved people who engage the issues and ask tough questions.”
More amusing are the countless legions of tweeters and web commenters weighing in on the weighty matter, such as those over at Gawker, who ranged from members of the Responsible Bestiality Community (“Needs more sheep fucking”) to more serious political types (“Is this video trying to get me to vote for Carly Fiorina or convert me to Scientology?”) and the more be-here-now, philosophically inclined (“Meanwhile, my HP printer still jams”).
eMeg’s $5-million Mission – Make People Like Her: Want more proof that Meg Whitman is prepared to spend unlimited amounts of money to become California’s next governor? How about a maiden ad buy in excess of $5 million, including the Super Bowl pre-game show, for a TV commercial that never mentions that the candidate is a Republican?
It’s a soft-sell approach, with nice flourishes for skeptical women – simple jewelry and makeup, lots of nodding, mentioning that people are “scared to death,” and suggesting that “a business perspective is a bit of what California needs right now.” Not too much, you see, just a bit. Aaaaaw. Gentle branding, with only fleeting glimpses of the candidate herself.
Sure the ad fudges how long eMeg has lived in California (she suggests she’s lived here since 1980, which isn’t true) and there’s no demon sheep, but it’s a nice piece of work by Scott Howell and lays out Meg’s three priorities very clearly: creating jobs, cutting spending and fixing schools.
Why no mention of her actual political party (the one she joined up with just a short time ago)? “She is quite obviously a Republican and when voters are in the voting booth, they’ll know she’s a Republican,” Megaphoner Tucker Bounds told us. “This is an introductory ad. She’s introducing herself and her conservative principles and her solutions for California and that was the focus.”
Nice spin Tucker. But the reason she never mentions that she’s a Republican is that she’s not even running for the GOP nomination with this ad – she’s running for the general election, when she’ll need all the independents and Democrats she can possibly attract. This ad speaks right past the Republican base, assuming that she can win the nomination without catering to the conservative GOP rank-and-file.
Incidentally, that’s the same meta-message eMeg has sent to the state GOP by refusing to join Steve “The Commish” Poizner in debate at the statewide convention next month – that she shouldn’t be expected to try to hustle support from the Republican base: they should be delighted to have her as their standard-bearer. And thank you for that.
Teddy D. scores: Those looking for news of the Senate race with a bit more, um, grrrrav-i-tas are advised to check out Teddy Davis’ report on an interview with Campbell on ABC’s “The Note,” in which Tom Boy calls for a new carbon tax, coupled with cuts in the payroll tax, as alternative to incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer’s cap-and-trade proposal.