Republican politicos and media pundits are hammering the Obama campaign’s new “Big Bird” ad, calling it an example of small, trivial and “absurd” politics.
The ad, which sarcastically casts Big Bird as a corporate fiend comparable to Bernie Madoff and Kenneth Lay, mocks Republican nominee Mitt Romney for “getting tough on Big Bird” by saying he would cut the federal subsidy to PBS.
The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein sums up most of the reaction thus far from media types, contrasting the ad with a 2008 speech that lamented “the smallness of our politics.”
“Add it to the long list of areas where Obama didn’t live up to the lofty rhetoric of his 2008 campaign,” Klein writes.
Politico’s Maggie Haberman called the ad “goofy”: “Chicago gets serious…” she wrote. “… And by serious, we mean not serious at all.”
And the president, as others have noted, and his team have been going fairly small at a moment when Romney is consistent in a message and pivoting toward going bigger (the foreign policy speech, more emotion on the trail, and so forth). And this video is the kind of small ball that Boston smacked over for months.
And Slate’s Dave Weigel summed it up in two words:
Since Obama’s flop in the debate, the campaign’s messaging has been mixed, to say the least. It has centered around painting Romney as a liar and flip-flopper, with a healthy dose of dings on Big Bird. But a lot of people were surprised the criticism evolved into a made-for-TV ad.
“The Obama campaign now featuring Big Bird in a new TV ad out this morning,” MSNBC’s Willie Geist said this morning on the network. “… That actually was from the Obama campaign. That was not Stewart or Colbert. How about that?”
It’s worth noting that for all of the “liberal media” hype during Romney’s bad September, what the media really loves is a theme and a clear narrative of the moment. And right now, that happens to be that Obama’s campaign is fading — hence, the pile on.
UPDATE: Now the show is asking the Obama campaign to pull the ad. Here’s the statement from Sesame Workshop:
Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organisation and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.
Here’s the Big Bird ad:
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