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Santorum vs. Rombo

 

It seemed as if funny political ads vanished from the GOP primary along with Herman Cain, who set a very high bar for utterly bizarre advertising.  Rick Santorum gamely leaps for that bar with “Rombo,” a funny pre-emptive strike at the coming onslaught from the Romney campaign.  I would imagine Newt Gingrich fans could get a chuckle out of this, too.

Humor is a tricky weapon to deploy during high political season.  Use too much of it, and you risk trivializing yourself.  Act too serious while the other guys are having some fun, and you risk becoming Richard Nixon, sweating under the klieg lights while a relaxed JFK charms the television audience.

The lesson drawn from Nixon’s famous debate with Kennedy was that television had forever made the physical appearance of the candidate important, perhaps at the expense of substance.  Television also made attitude important.  Wit is a sign of both confidence and character, while angry candidates have a narrow appeal.  Santorum’s campaign must be braced for attacks designed to make their candidate look weird and scary, particularly if he ends up as the Republican who runs against Obama.  Ads like this provide a good inoculation against such attacks.

 

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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