Viral Political Campaign Ads of 2010: The Best of the Worst
Bama (Tim James, Dale Peterson, GOP party):Alabama wins 2010's campaign ad battle in a landslide, although the candidates involved all lost their respective elections. And, the viral "win" doesn't exactly reflect well on the state. Ads for Tim James ("We speak English") and a gun-toting Dale Peterson ("I'll name names, and take no prisoners") reinforced the stereotype of Southerners as defiant, ethnocentric isolationists. Another ad criticizing Bradley Byrne ("He supported teaching evolution") seemed eerily reminiscent of the William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow days. Thankfully for residents of the Yellowhammer State, Antoine Dodson's heroic stand against the 'Bed Intruder' helped overshadow the painfully embarrassing election season.
Chuck Grassley, 'Twitter'Politicians frequently, and in hilarious fashion, demonstrate a complete ignorance of modern technology. Iowan Chuck Grassley's ad attempts to overcome this history of "tubes," "Internets" and "website numbers" when he vows that, "I'll tweet, I'll text, I'll do whatever it takes." Another Grassley comment about "having a Twitter" doesn't help dispel the notion of out-of-touch politicians, but at least his spot makes a valiant (and, smear-free) effort. Unlike many of the candidates who produced these bits of viral gold, Grassley actually won his race.
Carly Fiorina, 'Demon Sheep' and 'Hot Air: the Movie'California's Carly Fiorina almost singlehandedly upstaged Alabama with her deranged and disturbing campaign ads. The 'Demon Sheep' spot features a "wolf in sheep's clothing" character, but the outfit looks ridiculously similar to the goat-headed P.A.G.A.N. garb from the classic '87 film 'Dragnet.' Fiorina's other offering, the 'Hot Air' ad, may possess some value as a steampunk satire, but -- as a political campaign ad -- it serves as a colossal failure. Fiorina's overall campaign efforts fared similarly, as she lost to Barbara Boxer.
John McCain, 'A Special Message from J.D. Hayworth'The McCain team apparently drew inspiration from 'Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!' when producing this absolutely staggering ad. The spot manages to incorporate 'Dracula,' Obama's birth certificate, "the grave threat of man-horse marriage" and 'Mars Attacks!' in order to convey some type of message. Though clouded by the overwhelming assault of disjointed insults, we're guessing that he was saying something along the lines of "Hayworth sucks."
Christine O'Donnell, 'I Am Not a Witch.'Delaware's O'Donnell catapulted onto the political scene in 2010, and her unprecedented stream of absurdly astounding sound bites will resonate for years. Throughout the course of her campaign, O'Donnell castigated scary scientists and demonstrated a shameful lack of Constitutional knowledge. But, her "I Am Not a Witch" piece of advertising brilliance, which seems more akin to a classic parody from the vaults of Saturday Night Live, transcends mere campaign drivel. O'Donnell, like so many other viral candidates, lost her election by a wide margin.
Ellmers' ad (which employs a healthy dose of good, old-fashioned fear-mongering) attempts to capitalize on the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" debate. Words can't adequately describe the hateful message of bigotry (abhorrent, and xenophobic propaganda come to mind), but -- somehow -- Ellmers will soon join the U.S. House of Representatives. Hopefully, someone will inform her that Islam does not equal terrorism.
Renee Ellmers, 'Victory Mosque'
Alan Grayson, 'Taliban Dan'
Florida's Grayson, like Ellmers, took the Islamic low-road when he released a spot that lambasts opponent Daniel "Taliban Dan" Webster. Based on a few isolated comments, the ad characterizes Webster as a misogynist who is intent on relegating women to a subservient societal role. The glaring problem, though, is that the ad blatantly misrepresents Webster's statements, which were taken completely out of context. Voters apparently saw through the duplicity, though, because Grayson lost his re-election bid.