Chances are you’ve seen the political Top Gun spoof that people are calling the worst political ad they’ve ever seen, but it’s so bad it’s good. That ‘worst … so bad it’s good’ advertisement (see after fold if you’ve haven’t seen already — might not want the volume on too loud) has gone somewhat viral with the sort of discussion — articles, twitter, facebook — of an advertisement that one might expect about an edgy Super Bowl Ad (at a tiny fraction of the price).
Dan Helmer is a candidate for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th District. It is a crowded pack, with at least four candidates (including Helmer) having raised over $200,000 each many moons before the primary (months before the critical Virginia 2017 election).
NOTE: To be clear, right now it looks like the VA10s voters will have reason for thinking and considering who to vote for in the primary. Quite honestly, I can give reasons ‘why’ for each of those four … this VA10 voter is ‘undecided’ even if it might not seem so as this is the second time posting on Helmer in just two days.
For better or worse, Helmer’s “You’ve lost that centrist feeling” advertisement (and especially his off-key crooning style) has given him 15 minutes of fame and the potential for breaking through the noise in a crowded pack. As I put it in a commentyesterday,
He has his 15 seconds of fame — does he flame out or leverage it with good ideas / actions will be seen.
Yesterday was “Helmer Zone — Part 1”. Today is “Helmer Zone — Part 2” that begins “Now that we have your attention, meet Dan Helmer …” You judge: is he flaming out or leveraging his moment of fame?
“Let’s stop Dan from singing … and keep the fresh ideas coming …”
As to yesterday’s advertisement, some of the details seemed to be Virginia 10th ‘inside baseball’. By singing ‘you’ve lost that centrist feeling’, Helmer isn’t (necessarily — need to ask him) advocating for centrism but making clear that the ‘moderate’/’centrist’ image that Comstock nurtures adroitly has essentially nothing to do with her actual politics and actual actions as a politician. Comstock, who merits acknowledgment as one of the hardest working politicians in DC, is extremely adroit as massaging a ‘public’ image remote from what she actually pursues in office. (As I put it last year, her politics are more aligned with a conservative part of Alabama than the moderate suburbanites of Virginia’s 10th — Comstock, Right (wing) for Alabama, (simply) wrong for Virginia.)
As to Helmer’s first video, from my take on it yesterday:
In this video, Helmer takes on Comstock across a range of vulnerabilities:
Core to Helmer’s (pretty off-key, don’t quit your day job) singing is Comstock’s bizarre holding of a “moderate”/”centrist” tagline (despite the fact that she votes overwhelmingly with Donald Trump). Truth is, while perhaps more polished than Donald Trump and not as fully lunatic as the extreme Tea-Party-istas, Comstock’s record is clearly far to the right of the district. That extremism, however, has been glossed over due to Comstock’s unquestioned skills as a political operative and candidate.
In a crowded field seeking the chance to take on Comstock, Helmer’s inventive campaign style might just set him apart.
The worst political ad ever that is so bad it’s good?