A campaign ad uploaded onto the YouTube channel of GOP presidential contender Herman Cain on Oct.19 has evoked a storm of mocking comments because of its bizarre nature and because it features a staffer ostentatiously smoking a cigarette while on camera.
The video shows Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block, speaking about the politician in a typical campaign-ad manner, but followed by an extreme close-up of Block inhaling from a cigarette and then exhaling the smoke.
The final image in the clip is that of Cain turning to the camera (his face also shown in an exaggerated close-up), and smiling in a way described by some as "creepy."
The Daily Beast journalist, Michelle Goldberg, for instance, called that smile "the creepiest [expletive] thing I've ever seen."
Most mainstream media seem to be asking: What was Cain's campaign staff thinking? Nobody seems to know for sure, although Mother Jones went as far as to suggest that the ad is a form of endorsement of tobacco companies' lobbyists, with whom Cain reportedly has a good relationship.The magazine connected the dots based on a report from The New York Times .
Meanwhile, most commentators are have been poking fun at the ad.
Vanity Fair wrote:
"They said he would never top 'Imagine All the Pizza.' They said it couldn’t be done. But Herman Cain, tolerable eccentric, has released a new video that makes 'Imagine All the Pizza' look like Wings (the Paul McCartney band, not the meal, which is delicious and only $5.99 at participating Godfather's Pizza locations.)"
Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana and an overshadowed 2012 presidential hopeful Tweeted Monday: "My campaign manager wants to spoof the Herman Cain ad. Yay or nay?"
The original video on the Georgian candidate's YouTube channel already has over 1,700 comments.
"The cigarette did nothing for me but the creepy smile came out of the screen and seemed to taint my soul and steal my wallet at the same time,” one commenter stated mockingly.
Here is the curious Herman Cain ad: