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« February 2010 »

Memo to Carly Fiorina: WHAT HAST THOU WROUGHT?!

In the world of political advertising, there are people, slogans, and campaigns that will live on forever. Willie Horton. The Daisy ad. Mike Gravel and the lake. Yes We Can. Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett Packard executive and current contender for the chance to run against Barbara Boxergo, has ensured herself a place in that elite pantheon. And she hasn't even won the goddamned primary yet.

Let me put it this way. About thirty seconds in, God's wrath sends a lightning bolt to knock a sheep off the top of a hundred-foot-tall Greek pedestal. The sheep falls to he ground. In any other psychotic interlude, this would be the climax, the point of peak insanity. In Fiorina's ad, it's just the amuse-douche before you hit the crazy buffet. The ad raises so many questions and inspires so many comments during its three-minute span that I have no choice but to invoke LIGHTNING ROUND RULES.

  • Who was in the room when this thing was approved? What was going through their mind? I mean, any project like this has to be signed off on at several points in its life, and you're telling me nobody in the Fiorina campaign thought that maybe, just maybe, an extended, malformed sheep metaphor would make them the laughingstock of the 2010 election cycle?

  • I don't know what species they wrapped in that hilarious sheep costume, but whatever it was, it didn't get paid enough.

  • Much mirth has been had at the expense of what many have dubbed the Demon Sheep, the above-mentioned "wolf in sheep's clothing" who looked ridiculous enough before they gave it GLOWING RED FUCKING EYES in post-production. However, it's possible we may be misconstruing things. Given Fiorina's time at Hewlett-Packard, it may not a demon sheep, just a laser sheep that's out of toner. Or, if it's supposed to be a wolf, it's a wolf with an empty sheep-feeder.

  • What the fuck?

  • Ignoring, to the extent that such a thing is even psychologically possible, the constant use of sheep, falling sheep, and demon sheep imagery, the policy point of the ad is that Fiorino's primary opponent, Tom Campbell, in violation of all that is Republiholy, contemplated raising taxes in California. A state which, I remind you, has spent the last two years teetering on the brink of collapse because California voters elected, and re-elected, a thick-skulled, ass-groping, 1980s action movie star who did everything in his power not to raise taxes. So the 2010 elections will also be serving as a state-wide mental health census.

  • No, seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?

  • This ad can't even keep its metaphors consistent. The gist of the ad is that true fiscal conservatives are fluffy white sheep, which is the most awesomest messaging ever. And that Tom Campbell is pretending to be a fiscal conservative so that he can infiltrate the sheep herd and, um, kill and eat all the real fiscal conservatives, I guess. But the ad also, in what any self-aware person would have seen as a bad parody of subliminal advertising, flashes images of ACTUAL SHEEP amongst images of Campbell's face, implying that Campbell is some kind of sheep in sheep's clothing.

  • The ad also brilliantly calls Patterson a FCINO. This is a play off of RINO, which wingnuts call moderates - Republicans In Name Only. But RINO is a homophone for an actual word. FCINO is nearly unpronounceable. I guess, gun to my head, I'd pronounce it "fuck-eye-no", as in what I'd say if someone asked me what Fiorina's staff was smoking when they came up with this. Fuck if I know.

  • Kudos for Fiorina for using images of four- and five- dollar per gallon gas prices. It's possible some people had forgotten how much Bush-era oil speculation and Middle East warmongering drove up the price of dino juice. This makes for a handy reminder, even if Carly does blame it on gas taxes.

  • I cannot decide if I want this ad to work or not. On the one hand, if it works, and wins Carly the primary, it's so completely fucking off the rails that it should utterly discredit her when the general election rolls around. On the other hand, if it works, it means that Republican voters in California are terrified of demon wolf-sheep tax-and-spend fuckinos. And that means Victoria Jackson isn't the exception, she's the norm.

  • By the way, I'm writing this column Thursday afternoon and posting it Friday morning in the hopes that the iconic image of the ad, Wolfie The Stealth Tax-Raising Sheep-Man peering, eyes-aglow, from behind a tree, is only mocked by five to six thousand other people by the time you read this. Because I guarantee that by Monday, it'll be the new Dramatic Chipmunk.

  • When Je-Zeus strikes the wayward hubrisheep from its lofty perch with lightning, as it plummets, the caption reads "Leaving but one way to fall". Upon seeing this, the head of the Special Olympics called Rahm Emanuel and gave him carte blanche to call this "fucking retarded" as often as he desires.

  • Given everything else, this seems like nit-picking, but there's also a serious mis-use of the word "literally" at around 0:50.

  • In one shot, the wolf may be wearing sheep's clothing, but it's DEFINITELY wearing men's loafers.

  • There is, of course, a website - - that encourages you to "report a sighting" of a FCINO. If I thought there was a chance in hell anyone was actually going to read the submissions, I'd suggest the Internet do what it does best - bury some campaign intern under a pile of fart jokes and profanity.

  • Oh, and of course they're already claiming that they've achieved their goal because everybody is talking about it. Everyone would be talking about it if they found a dead hooker in Fiorina's trunk, too, so why don't you PR geniuses see if you can make that happen? I'm sure you know lots of dead hookers.

Thank you, Carly Fiorina, for making us laugh at ungulates. Again.