The Late Movies: Absurd Campaign Ads


I live with a self-confessed TV marathoner, and right now we're plowing our way through The West Wing. Spending all this time in Martin Sheen's White House has me a little angry with Rob Lowe for the sway he holds over my girlfriend and a little depressed with the real-word politicians we've got. Aside from the occasional faux pas, Team Bartlett ran a clean, positive re-election campaign in seasons 3 and 4, with none of the absurdity and, in some cases, sheer insanity, you'll see in these ads.

Hendon for Lieutenant Governor
This is audio only, but you really don't need a visual to get some LOLs out of it. Illinois State Senator Rickey Hendon is running for Illinois lieutenant governor, and has been running this ad on radio stations across the state. The audio quality is poor, but you can get the gist. We're listening in on a house party where conversation is focused on three things:

1. Hendon's accomplishments, like getting free bus rides for seniors and stopping "them fools" from putting up red light cameras.
2. Where the pretty girls are up in here.
3. Twinkies.

Robinson for Congress
Vernon Robinson is infamous in North Carolina for two failed Congressional runs and the ads that went with them.

This one manages to be racist, homophobic, xenophobic and completely off-your-meds insane in less than 60 seconds. Kind of impressive. Makes you wonder why voters in NC's 13th district didn't want "the black Jesse Helms" to lead them back to the traditional values of a fictional television show.

Power to the People vs. Give Peace a Chance
This is a little bit of campaign ad, a little bit of music video and a whole lot of weirdness all rolled into one. Former U.S. senator Mike Gravel (Alaska), you might remember, ran as a libertarian candidate for president in 2008. This is the first in a series of campaign videos/American Idol audition tapes he made that year.

McKenna for Coroner
Eighty-year-old Frank Minyard has been the Orleans Parish coroner for almost four decades. During his tenure, he ran into a spot of trouble when he allegedly removed bone pieces and corneas from bodies and gave them transplant centers without consent, and he was sued for it. His opponent in the upcoming election, Dwight McKenna, concluded from the lawsuit that Minyard is a Frankenstein-esque madman who's running a black market body parts ring from his office and turned his conspiracy theory into a great bit of television.

Fiorina for U.S. Senate
If you haven't seen this one yet, you're spending your time in the wrong parts of the Internet. Carly Fiorina pulls the ultimate character assassination on her opponent Tom Campbell and accuses him of being a demonic sheep with death ray eyes.

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