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Patrick Hruby

Wacky Political Ad Watch: Herman Cain's Killer Chickens

Giggle-based politics

Herman Cain warned us. He said his latest online political spot would involve chickens. He didn't say they would be Hitchcockian chickens. And that makes all the difference. Without further ado, a review: Concept: B. Continuing Cain's Orwellian-but-not-really leitmotif of farm animals posing as stand-ins for segments of society, a group of chickens plays the role of big government. A friendly farmer -- in case you're wondering, he's the guy in the overalls -- plays John Q. Taxpaying Citizen. The surprisingly voracious and Velociraptor-esque chickens devour the shrieking farmer as a creepy little girl narrates. Forget nuclear tests; can we have a worldwide moratorium on creepy little girls as harbingers of doom? Execution: B-minus. It would help if the farmer sounded more horrified, and less like he was stifling giggles; closing shot of the farmer's skeleton belabors the visual point; since when do chickens eat turkey bones? On the other hand, Cain's campaign is kaput suspended, and he's still making crazy ads. Which is wonderful. I pray Rick Santorum follows suit. Message: C-minus. Big Government (trust me, the caps are mandatory, straight from the official Associated Conservative Press Handbook) doesn't just bite the hand that feeds it -- Big Government devours said hand, and the attached body, in a clucking feeding frenzy. Yawn. Is that why Tea Party types are so deeply concerned about the ever-expanding Pentagon budget? Ad would have worked better as a targeted attack on farm subsidies. Lunacy Quotient: A-plus. Some men see chickens and think mmmm ... pad thai. Herman Cain sees chickens and thinks perfect metaphor for all-consuming civic bureaucracy. What, they couldn't afford a piranha tank and a bit of chum? (If the ringleader chicken had laid an egg, followed by the little girl cracking it into a skillet, and then Cain had delivered a just-say-no-to-drugs message with his trademark leering overlong grin, the spot would have been dead solid perfectly insane. Maybe next time).