New Hermain Cain campaign video is, uh, well, oh I give up just watch.

[Video Link, via Joe Sabia]. You know what they say about blowing smoke. Also, is Cain pulling a trollface at the end?


  1. Not that his whole campaign was a publicity stunt and now he’s  desperately afraid of winning… or anything.

  2. I like how he shakes his head “no” as he’s talking. Lightman would have a field day with this guy.

  3. The only thing going through my head for the entire video was “Did Tim and Eric get a new camera?”

  4. He’s not taking a full puff either. Note the very light exhaled smoke. I don’t know if he even inhaled.

  5. When he’s smoking the cigarette, and I’m looking over and seeing the sidebar about Tom Waits’s “Bad As Me,” and thinking “that should have been the album cover.

  6. The only thing going through my head during the entirety of that video was “Did Tim and Eric get a new camera?”

  7. It’s actually thicker if you don’t inhale (lungs aerate it). Jussayin.

    That they chose to work in a smoking shot is golden, though. “I’ve got some bold new ideas, Herman–let me make your campaign video!”

  8. To think someone somewhere thought this was a good idea and got paid for it turns my smile into a frown.

  9. I think Cain should keep going with this tactic. “He’ll put the ‘fun’ back in ‘fundamentals’. He’ll put the ‘stew’ back in ‘stewardship’.”

  10. that slow move to a toothy grin on cain looks exactly like the chairman in the original iron chef. he should take a big bite off a pepper.

  11. There’s that phrase again: “take this country back”.  Hearing those words from a right wing ideologue who shouts a lot gives me the douche chills.

  12. This harks from the early 80’s and before. Smoking had an air of authority with it. Look at a lot of the movies, if you wanted to make a point, you had a smoking guy make your point. 

    1. AD agency?  Try some kid with a 5d or a Ti2 and “swing and tilt” plugin. All horribly executed. If Cain can’t put together a 3 minute ad that doesn’t look like garbage, imagine what his cabinet would look like.  Thank god we won’t find out.  How are those book sales Herman?

  13. I’m from the UK and am very puzzled by this video.  Is it real?  Is this a REAL campaign video?  For a REAL person?

    Seriously, I’m assuming it’s real but am having trouble believing it, have I been duped?  What’s the message anyway?  Take back the country from whom?  Why’s he smoking?  WHAT’S GOING ON?

      1. I was at least hoping that he’d be taking it back from the corporations and oppressive government bodies.

        So they want to take America back… from it’s citizens?

        That doesn’t make sense irrelevant of political persuasion.

    1. Replace “UK” with “US” and your statement applies to basically everyone here too. Don’t worry, we’re just as confused.

  14. At the beginning, when he is saying who he is, he is nodding his head up and down.  At the end, when he is saying that he needs your help, he is nodding his head up and down.  In the middle, when he says that he believes in Herman Cain, he is shaking his head side to side.

    I don’t think he really believes in Herman Cain.

  15. Actually, Herman’s smile is nearly identical to this one. (start at 50 second mark)

    After all, if you flip 999, it does become 666

  16. Every time I see one of these supposed “Herman Cain” videos, I assume it’s some sort of parody making fun of him.  Every time I slowly am forced to the realization that they are indeed videos approved by Cain.  I’m still not entirely convinced of their earnestness, however.  I harbor a suspicion that some pranksters have infiltrated his campaign and he hasn’t noticed yet.

  17. WTF! that is the creepiest thing I have seen in a long while.  Why does his chief of staff look like some guy you might see working at the bowling alley?  

  18. BRILLIANT.  classic demographic targeting.

    An American will vote for you if s/he  believes “candidate X is like me”[*].  

    US smokers are concentrated in certain socio-economic  groups . This video speaks to  Republican primary voters  who derive or have derived some identity from smoking.  Crudely ,”Reagan Democrats,”  not BoingBoingers.

    The video’s message is clear: “Cain’s pals are guys like me.”    But you have to be interested enough in Cain to watch to the end, or else you will never see the coded ‘inappropriate’  message.


    [*] Notice how Obama  shifted between his black  and identities in 2004:”My grandfather marched with General Patton.”

  19. I am remembering Rachel Maddow’s theory that NY gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was actually an artist doing prolonged performance art. Getting the same vibe from Herman “Koch” Cain.

  20. It’s real:

    He should try vaping:

  21. The worst part of this is the GOP’s descent down the list of sociopaths (Palin, Bachmann, Cain) who never stood a chance to win the election make their “mainstream” candidates like Romney and Perry look reasonable.

  22. Also, is Cain pulling a trollface at the end?

    Herman is giving it away too soon, but yes… he’s definitely trolling the republican party to help derail its thread.  Tea baggers.  You’ve been trolled for your own good for once in your lives.

    Watch this gif animation at the end to see Herman’s true nature as it reverses:

    And look at this chart, just look at it…

      1. For reasons which are far too lengthy to explain, I feel that the caption for that gif should be, I fucked your dog, I shit in your purse and now I’m out of here.

  23. That is the smile of a man who just figured out how to beat the charges brought against him by the DA that he was putting roadkill on his “pizzas” while calling it high-quality sausage.

  24. I remember now. That’s like the Gen. Warren Boutwell for president ad in Undercover Brother. Billy Dee Williams all over the place. They can’t have been serious.

  25. One body language “tell” that a person may be lying is that he shakes his head “no”, when saying something false.  Listen to what this guy is saying when he shakes his head and when he nods his head.  He shakes his head when he talks about uniting the country, then he nods his head when talks about taking back the country. At one point he has such trouble saying the word “united” that he shakes his head violently to compensate for trying to say it like he believes it.

    Clearly there two incompatible messages at work here.  You can’t genuinely talk about taking back the country, which emphasizes an “us” vs “them” mentality, at the same time as talking about uniting the country, which would require actively avoiding an “us” vs “them” approach.  These ideas are diametrically opposed, and it is hard to profess both at the same time without revealing the cognitive dissonance in subtle and not so subtle ways. So which is the real message?

    The head-shaking is one clue, but there are others. Notice which phrases sound more passionate: the ones where Block is talking about unity, a non-confrontational concept, or the ones where he talks about taking back the country, an extremely confrontational concept? Look at all the oddities in this ad: the drag on the cigarette at the end, the weak color saturation, the high-contrast lighting which plays up his wrinkles and his bad teeth, the dour attitude throughout the entire ad. He doesn’t smile once, even when talking about apparently positive aspirations. And then there’s Cain’s bizarre smile at the end, that is so strained that it looks more mischievous and snide than sincere. If you look carefully, he is even shaking a little under the stress of trying to look friendly, embedded in an ad that is so totally unfriendly.

    The ad looks unpolished and amateurish, but it is supposed to.  It is a non-verbal dog whistle to people of similar mindset. This isn’t meant to appeal to people with good will and positive intentions, or to people who think of themselves as happy, good-looking, or successful, or to people who appreciate professional, high-quality production values. It is meant to appeal to people who don’t want unity, who are angry, hopeless, and want to fight about anything and everything. It is meant to appeal to the sullen kid who gets into fights because he feels unsuccessful and downtrodden.

    This is a presidential campaign ad, so its content is not an accident; it must have been reviewed many times by Cain and his staff before being approved. So whatever message that gets through, both verbal and non-verbal, must have felt comfortable to Cain.  So it looks to me that this ad was meant to pretend to take the high road of espousing unity, while really meaning the opposite.  It weakly pays lip service to the abstract idea of uniting the country, but with a wink and a nod to their friends that indicates they don’t really mean it.  It definitely clarifies the demographic that Cain is going after.  And it might even work.

  26. Since no one has pointed it out yet, I will; prior to his gig with Cain, Mr. Block was a shill for Americans For Prosperity, which is a Koch Bros. enterprise. Just like Herman Cain. 

    And frankly, I’m pretty sure Mr Cain is just as surprised by his surge in the polls as the rest of America is; he seems to think it’s just a book signing campaign that’s being paid for by supporters. The way Bachmann, then Perry and now Cain have polled tells me that the GOP base is awfully uncomfortable with Romney’s conservative credentials as well as his Mormonism. 

    Bets are now being taken on who’ll take off next. Gingrich? Santorum? The little weird guy?

    Repeal the 20th Century: Vote GOP! 

    1. huh? The 20th Century was by and large a wasted century. Sure, lots of technological advancements on the “pros” side but thats about it. The “cons” side far outweigh the “pros” with unprecedented amounts of murderous wars, pollution, disease and polarization between the haves and have nots. I don’t think voting GOP would help in repealing any of this. To me, the better tagline would be: “The 20th Century Was Lots of Fun For Us! Vote GOP!”

      1. The civil rights progress from 1900 to 2000 was nothing short of massive. The percentage of the population dead in wars is not especially bad in a historical perspective – and the same is true for the diseases (and yes, I’m counting WW1+2 and the Spanish flu in that).   The polarization between the haves/have-nots was in some ways much worse earlier, when the poor were almost outside society. While the 1900s were horribly polluting, they were also the century when we started noticing, regulating, and limiting pollution (though I know the first anti-pollution laws were from Britain in the 1800s).

        So, basically I think you were completely wrong, and the 20th century was one of the largest steps in the right direction humanity has done in recorded history.

  27. It’s a perfect example of American apathy and cynicism, that you guys think Herman Cain is a troll. He’s going to put the united back in the United States.

  28. As Bob said:     H.C.   Never trust anyone with the initials  H.C.    Harold Canvera, Hagbard Celine, Heathcliffe Clark, Harry Coin, Howard Cork, Hart Crane, H.C. Winifred 
    I accidentally misspoke Herman Cain’s name while throwing out a wacky conspiracy theory about an odd Twitter user that loved to ask computer nerds about pizza over the summer…

    (Sorry about having to post under this name but FB won’t let me connect for some reason and I’m stooping to this local GOP chairman troll’s level ATM)

  29. He’s just exercising his choice to use a harmful substance that brings him pleasure.  It’s his risk, not your.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Unless it’s marijuana.  Then it’s wrong.

  30. I thought this was a joke video…


    I’m not voting for someone who would let this piece of amazingness reach the public….

  31. EXACTLY! That’s how it’s supposed to convince someone — nothing of substance was said — as in any other effective television ad for any other consumer good.

  32. Colbert has a whole 7-minute brilliant skit on this ad:

  33. I dunno, I always got the feeling that Jesus would be a theocrat – I mean, his claim to authority was that he was god. Just sayin’.

    Also, I’m with Xeni – total troll face there at the end.

  34. Actually, 20 seconds of googling will tell you that your “quote” was from a joke article.  Similar lines:
    “Looking back, I can’t believe what we achieved in a few incredible days: government-funded health care, a well-regulated banking system, and a cap on corporate political donations. Our work is done.” – Tracy, 20
    “The day after Occupy, I used an ATM and the same old message came up saying you will be charged $1 for this transaction or whatever. But it felt different, somehow. You could tell the ATM felt embarrassed, that it knew it was just another pawn in this charade we call capitalism. I felt sorry for my robot brother.” Alex, 23

    Kirk, I may be the first to tell you, but the Onion is also a joke paper.  You should really stop relying on it for relationship, health and financial advice. 

  35. Stupid people, on the whole, believe that one or the other political party is the embodiment of evil, and one or the other has their best interests at heart.
    And your source quote (carthago delenda est) evokes some pretty severe violence, which seems illiberal to me. But maybe you’re not liberal.

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