Herman Cain Releases The Most Bizarre Campaign Ad Ever

Last night, Herman Cain’s campaign put up an ad on YouTube that lit up the political junkies on Twitter, mostly with shocked reactions trying to figure out exactly what we’d just seen:

I’m not at all sure what to say about this. Except to repeat the theory I came up with last night that the Herman Cain campaign is Sacha Baron Cohen’s big follow-up to Borat.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    Well, you know he’d be a good president if his campaign manager thinks so. And that cigarette at the end lands an air of authenticity.

  2. Frank says:

    Apparently, you don’t remember Mike Gravel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rZdAB4V_j8

  3. Dean says:

    Well, that’s one way to make people forget the 999 plan.

  4. Dadof3 says:

    I’m always a bit concerned when the head shakes “no” when the mouth is trying to say something positive.

  5. It’s nice to see that demon sheep finally has a successor.

  6. Wow. Perhaps not the most bizarre ever, but it deserves honorable mention.

    Cain’s grin there at the end was a bit unnerving.

    And the cigarette bit was just strange.

  7. Franklin says:

    Wow, that was hilariously great. Although I can’t tell if it’s tongue-in-cheek or if it’s trying to be cool, ’70s style.

  8. Mart Martin says:

    It’s a most effective ad with a clever subliminal message, which is geared solely to a particular faction of voters. Snoop around on the ‘net a bit and you might be able to learn who the ad is directed at, why, and how it all ties together with something in Herman’s past. It’s a most effective ad in how that group is being targeted.

  9. ernieyeball says:

    If Herman wanted my vote the guy would be hitting a joint.

  10. Franklin says:

    @Mart Martin: Well since I can find no evidence that Cain was a porn actor, I’m going to have to go with the fact that he fought smoking bans as head of the National Restaurant Association, so it must be directed at … smokers (and/or people who hate government regulations, I guess). Thanks for the tip!

  11. anjin-san says:

    “take this country back”… you hear that sort of thing a lot in tea party circles.

    I guess in the absence of even a single original thinker, they decided to simply steal Howard Dean’s slogan ( “I want my country back”) from ’04 and tweak it slightly.

  12. Anderson says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “I am not a witch” still reigns.

  13. @Anderson: A true classic.

  14. MM says:

    @Mart Martin: Not to go Chandler Bing here, but could you be any more opaque with that? Who is it geared to? Why is it so effective?

  15. Northeast Elizabeth says:

    The ad has a very simple message: F**k you. F**k you Democrats. F**k you Obama. F**k you OWS and all its filthy lying Marxist scumbags.

    And you know what? America will unite around that message because it’s in a f**k you mood. Maybe Cain will lose the 1% who comprise the racist anti-semites who dominate OWS and the Dems, but, well f**k them too.

    P.S. Obama smokes and lies about it. F**k you, hypocrite.

    [Comment edited in light of language in violation of our Comment Policy — DM]

  16. Dustin says:

    I’m pretty sure this is actually Cain’s strangest ad;

    He Carried Yellow Flowers

  17. Kylopod says:

    The ad may be a bit freaky, but if you want bizarre, it’s hard to beat Mike Gravel’s piece from 2008:


  18. DeWayne says:

    GOP meltdown #5

    1. Trump
    2. Pawlenty
    3. Bachmann
    4. Perry

    Whose going to be number 6?

  19. michel1954 says:

    @Northeast Elizabeth:

    I can’t figure out if you are mentally retarded or not.

    Please clarify.

  20. Dazedandconfused says:

    What an Evangelical flirt he is! Teasing the libertarians by flashing that smoldering bit of leg…

    The delicious exchange of mating-all dog whistles….Rand does it right back at them. They surely must know that it could never work…but, ooooooh…the burning lust!

    They just can’t help themselves.

  21. Anonne says:

    lol. Nice smarmy smile there at the end…

    In a nutshell, the song says it all. “I am America.” The chief of staff guy looks like an average guy, who also smokes. Although… hm, I will refrain from commenting what I just thought about the exhaling bit at the end, it’s a little crass. But the basis is that Herman Cain is for the average Joe.

  22. Neil Hudelson says:

    “Alright let’s take a look at that media budget…Dammit! Grab the camcorder, we’re shooting this one ourselves!”

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Doug gets a little love from across the pond at the Guardian>

    Calling it “the most bizarre campaign ad ever,” political blogger Doug Mataconis was among those stupified by the ad:

    Congrats…. I think.

  24. Mart Martin says:

    @Franklin: Ya guessed it; aimed at folks who dislike government regulations, and a darned effective way to make the point.

  25. James says:

    sacha baron cohen… like this?