With Herman Cain leading Mitt Romney 25% to 21% in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, the next step for the Cain campaign is clear — it's past time to release a weird and creepy campaign advertisement to secure the allegiance of uncommitted primary voters.
Mission accomplished. "We've run a campaign like nobody's ever seen," says the man seen loitering outside an office building in the web ad that went viral on Monday. Watch it once, watch it twice, watch it 999 times and don't miss the :40 mark of this 56 second masterpiece…
Despite suggestions to the contrary, the star of the ad is not a registered sex offender who has managed to upload an "unlisted" (only those with a link may see it) Youtube clip to Cain's campaign account without anyone's knowledge. In fact, the smoking man really is Mark Block, chief of staff and chief operating officer for the Cain campaign, and a former Midwestern campaign operative "banned from politics in Wisconsin for three years and forced to pay a $15,000 fine after being accused by the Wisconsin State Elections Board of violating election law" during a 1997 State Supreme Court campaign.
And Herman Cain is probably not just a sophisticated performance artist intent on punking the GOP electorate, but is actually deeply committed to the goal of a more free/more nicotine-addicted America…
From 1996, when he left the pizza company, until 1999, Mr. Cain ran the National Restaurant Association, a once-sleepy trade group that he transformed into a lobbying powerhouse. He allied himself closely with cigarette makers fighting restaurant smoking bans, spoke out against lowering blood-alcohol limits as a way to prevent drunken driving, fought an increase in the minimum wage and opposed a patients' bill of rights — all in keeping with the interests of the industry he represented….
Under Mr. Cain's leadership, the restaurant association opposed higher taxes on cigarettes and the use of federal money to prosecute cigarette makers for fraud — positions that Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said had little to do with the restaurant business.
So maybe this ad is just a subtle piece of pro-tobacco, anti-nanny state advertising, and anyway, no one is talking about the commercial you managed to produce on your smoke break, are they?
Tags: Advertising, Herman Cain, Primaries, Republicans, Smoking