Fred Davis III is the GOP’s “mad man” behind a potential Super PAC ad that would attempt to push Barack Obama’s ties to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and expose him as a man that ran as a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln” in 2008. This is nothing new for Davis, however. He made his mark in the political world in 2002, with an ad campaign that attempted to make VHS go viral. It featured Roy Barnes, then Georgia’s governor, stomping through Atlanta as a giant rat with a gold chain. It is widely credited with helping Republican Sonny Perdue defeat him in that election.
But he really burst on the scene in the 2008 and 2010 campaigns, with ads for both insurgent Republican tea party candidates and Republican presidential nominee John McCain. One of those ads, in a California Senate race, featured a “demon sheep” that is pictured here.
This was the first of Davis' impactful ads, a 10-minute video campaign he distributed through old-fashioned viral methods -- on VHS and through the mail. The ad was made for Sonny Perdue, who was challenging Democrat Roy Barnes in the Georgia governor race. According to Time, it became a hit when Barnes' allies attacked it. Thousands of people overloaded the Perdue campaign's servers when they tried to download it through old-fashioned, dial-up connections.
What do you if you're a Republican and it emerges that you 'helped out a soft-porn website?' Well, you make an ad that calls Barack Obama the 'worst President in history,' with your face smack dab in the middle of the camera.
That's what Ben Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, did in 2010 when running for office in the House of Representatives in Arizona. The media focused on the ad, the soft-porn story quickly slipped under the cracks, and Quayle won the Republican primary and the election.
This one didn't work out so well. Bizarre, surreal, insane -- pick a word that is synonymous with crazy.
This ad was aimed at Sen. Barbara Boxer from California, in the campaign of Republican challenger Carly Fiorina. It was mocked incessantly, spawned a Twitter trending topic almost instantly and even a website, demonsheep.org, that asked people to 'pledge your efforts to stop these Jawa-like, Terminator-esque,
Demon Sheep from taking over California.'
Fiorina lost the election by a healthy 10 points.
Add this to the 'weird, bizarre, and/or crazy' column. This came in response to a different video surfacing during the tea party favourite Christine O'Donnell's run for a House seat in Delaware in 2010. In a 1999 video, she had said she 'dabbled into witchcraft.'
So she made an ad attempting to debunk that. And the script goes: 'I'm not a witch. I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you.'
Perhaps the most ironic part about this ad is how it circles back to the theme of Jeremiah Wright. When the O'Donnell 'witchcraft' comments came out, she distanced herself and asked 'whether it was fair to hold candidates responsible for the 'questionable folks' they hung out with in high school.'
This should tell you how this ad was received: SNL made a parody video.
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