So I heard we’re finally doing an ad about my unempeckible conservative credentials. This is great. What with all this talk about homos in the army and America being a place for tolerance, I figger it’s time to get my voice out there. It’s important for America, and more importantly, it’s important for my campaign in Iowa. So here’s my ideas for a TV ad:
So we open on my back under a spotlight. I’m wearing a jean jacket with the stars and bars patched on the back. Shotgun casually draped over my shoulder. The music from “Dawn of the Dead” is playing. I slowly turn around. Pause. Me: “It’s time for Christians to fight back.” Cut to: Close-up on me in a field. I’m flanked by Jesus on one side and Santa on the other. We’re just mowing down hoards of Gay Atheist Zombies who are all like “Happy Holidaaaays.” I blow off zombie FDR’s head and I’m all like, “I think you mean ‘Merry Christmas,’ bitch.” Cut to: children praying in schools. Suddenly, zombie Charles Darwin busts in and tries to explain how they’re all monkeys. Then me and Santa Jesus bust down the door and I stab him with a samurai sword. And I’m like “Read your bible, bitch.” Then it’s a shot of me and Santa Jesus surrounded by hot chicks in bikinis. We’re in a field just filled with crucifixes. “I’m Rick Perry, and I approve the hell out of this message.” Then I shoot zombie Thomas Jefferson in the face.
What do you think? Game over, get ready for President Rick Perry, right? I think I should be wearing a military uniform too. I’m the president of Texas, right? So I should have a Texas Army suit somewhere, right?
-Future Prez RP
I see you managed to crack that lock we put on your email. Long story short, we’re just going to talk about how much you like Christianity and hate gays. That’s it. Get some pants on, the van is picking you up at 10.
-Rob Johnson, Campaign Manager, Perry 2012
P.S. Forget the military garb. You’d look like an ugly Manuel Noriega.
Fuck that shit. That’s not cool enough to win the nommie. Can I at least wear a denim shirt?
-The REAL Governator
P.S. I don’t see how some army stuff would make me look like the Astros’ center fielder.
Sure, that’s fine. Just remember. No zombies. Just repeat what the nice lady tells you to.
And so, the commercial that completely changed the 2012 Republican primary race was born.
Seriously, though, the history of terrible campaign ads goes back much farther than this current Rick Perry debacle. Everyone remembers the famous “Daisy” ad Lyndon Johnson ran against Barry Goldwater in the ’64 race, but few remember Goldwater’s response ad, where he stood in a field and talked about how un-American Johnson was being by pushing for civil rights while simultaneously not wanting to nuke every last Russkie back to the stone age. William Taft’s reelection campaign was plagued by numerous troubles, but one key misstep was his national newspaper campaign, “Vote for the Fat Guy!” John Quincy Adams was defeated in a rematch against Andrew Jackson for a number of reasons, but his “You guys remember my dad, right?” campaign pamphlets were widely considered to be a mistake.
The earliest instance of a terrible political commercial comes from the birthplace of Democracy, Athens. In his ultimately losing bid to be elected, Socrates ran a series of commercials in which he argued persuasively with someone about some vague philosophical ideas on government for several hours. He lost in a landslide. It has long been true that strength and conviction beats braininess. The most successful political campaign of all time was run by Attila the Hun. His famous slogan, “A vote for Attila is a vote to not have your entire family slaughtered by Attila,” easily won him close to 100% of the Hun vote.
The third, and by far most famous historical campaign ad is of course the… um… uh… umm… the… uhhhh… Oops.