Santorum envisions an Obama-driven dystopia

Updated
 

If the Santorum campaign hoped to put together a video that would get people talking, its latest effort worked like a charm. This minute-long clip is so wildly, albeit inadvertently, entertaining, I’ve watched it at least 10 times.

The point of the video is, well, to scare the bejesus out of voters. If President Obama is president in 2014, Team Santorum’s new clip argues, small towns will look like scenes from “The Walking Dead”; playground equipment will move mysteriously on its own; shoes will be abandoned; infants will be left alone in cribs; consumers will try pumping gas into their ears; religious liberty will be eliminated; and Iran will prepare to strike the United States with nuclear weapons.

As Paul Waldman put it, “Apparently, it will take Obama only two years to turn America into some combination of ‘The Day After’ and ‘Saw.’”

My personal favorite moment comes about 40 seconds in, when we see a screen blink quickly, transposing images of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and President Obama, as if the two were effectively the same person. As Brad Johnson noted, when the Santorum narrator says “sworn American enemy,” viewers see Obama’s image.

I don’t generally laugh out loud at these sorts of things, but Santorum’s video is the most unintentionally hilarious video from a presidential candidate I’ve seen from someone whose name does not rhyme with Sherman Bain.

Waldman added, “[D]o the people on the Santorum campaign actually believe this will be persuasive to anyone? Or are they so blinded by their own hatred of Obama that they can’t see how silly this is?”

Those need not be rhetorical questions.

I rather doubt Team Santorum intends to persuade anyone with this nonsense. It’s more likely the candidate and his aides are making a desperate cry for attention. In a there’s-no-such-thing-as-bad-publicity sort of way, I suppose the video is working – here I am writing about it – but as a rule, Santorum would probably prefer that folks laugh with him, not at him.

It also seems plausible to me that Santorum hopes Democrats will complain about this video, giving the former senator a chance to say, “See? I’m the one the left hates the most.” So far, however, I haven’t heard from any Democratic official or campaign committee who found this worth their time.

Stepping back, however, what’s perhaps most striking about this video is what it doesn’t say: there’s no criticism of Obama’s first three years in office. It’s almost as if Santorum is arguing, “Sure, Obama led Americans through trying times and got the country on stronger footing, but a dystopian nightmare is right around the corner, so please be terrified.”

I have a hunch this isn’t going to work.

Rick Santorum

Santorum envisions an Obama-driven dystopia

Updated