Yesterday presidential candidate Herman Cain, the president of Godfather pizza, released another campaign commercial, a strange one, called “Now Is The Time For Action.”
It’s got the standard stuff about how he’s going to put the “united” back in the United States of America and how “together we can do this, we can take this country back.” You have to wonder when a candidate says that where he proposes to take it back from.
I think that’s explained by the fact that campaign manager Mark Block smokes a cigarette in the middle of the commercial. This is not the kind of gesture that most candidates would make. As a candidate, Barack Obama was criticized for smoking as many said that this was a bad example for kids. In Herman Cain’s America, we will be going back to the 1960s, Mad Men time, when smoking was cool, cancer was cool.
That one gesture of taking a drag off of a cigarette communicates volumes to the audience Cain is trying to reach. There won’t be any more of this stuff about not smoking at work, or in public spaces, and no more of those other annoying rules about wearing helmets on a motorcycle. After all, Cain was a lobbyist for R.J. Reynolds and Phillip Morris at one time.
The campaign commercial Cain released a few months ago is even more explicit in trying to evoke John Wayne’s America.
“There was a time in America when a man was a man, a horse was a horse, and a man on a horse was just a man on a horse… unless he carried Yellow Flowers.”
The villains in this little drama are the rude, hooch-swilling liberals who spit on our hero’s shoes and malign his manhood when they taunt him about carrying yellow flowers. He’s too tough to take that bait. He responds, “Why does it always have to be about color? What are you guys? Liberals?” Then he slugs them.
There’s so much going on in this commercial, you have to think he’s putting us on. The tough guy gets a margarita during his break, a margarita with a straw! After insulting the intelligence of the women on the crew, he talks directly to us about how being a community organizer doesn’t equip anyone to be president. Hmmm. I guess being the president of the 8th biggest pizza chain does, because to do that, you have to be really tough.
Combined, the two commercials advertise an American future where tough talking, quick-fisted he men smoke their cigarettes and swill their drinks between fist fights with weak-kneed, rude and racist liberals. Hard to see how this puts the united back in the United States.
He’s making headway with this message, though. In Iowa he’s on top with 28 percent of likely votes supporting him, a big distance from Mitt Romney who now only stands at 21 percent.
Note: After I posted this, Mike Godwin tweeted that he believed Mark Block is shaking his head so often because he can’t believe he’s saying these things about Herman Cain.