Days of Change

Day 1086 – The Smoking Man

October 26, 2011
1 Comment

Mark Block may be more famous than some of the Republican candidates. He’s Herman Cain’s Chief of Staff and he likes to light one up outside a building.

In the 1990s, a Canadian actor named William B. Davis was identified by a habit his character displayed on “The X Files.” At that time, it indicated a certain untouchable quality that a man could smoke in generally smoke-free government buildings. Now, smoking itself is an anachronism. You can’t do it in most parks in New York City, except if you’re a mayor-approved squatter.

Now, any polished, professional presidential campaign would never show a smoker on-screen, smoking. Mitt Romney would certainly never have smoking in his ads. He would even stop smoking just because he wants to be president that bad. President Obama just lies about quitting, then sneaks a puff when no one is allowed to look. We all know what America looks like in a political ad. There’s an old white guy, a young woman, a middle-aged black guy. There may be a young Hispanic. You might even get an Asian or an Indian if you’re lucky.

Mitt Romney’s videos on YouTube are pretty boiler plate. His people make sure most of the comments are either anti-Obama or pro-Romeny. Rick Perry has hired Tim Pawlenty’s cinematic ad team. Those videos don’t seem to allow comments at all. Cain’s videos, in keeping with the outlaw nature of his campaign, seem to let many comments stand, which also tends to make his critics look like fools. Then again, his shoe string budget ad was the one to make it on news and entertainment shows yesterday.

If Cain has the ability to get support, the money and organization will come. In 2004, John Kerry took out a $6 million mortgage on one of his homes in the last days of the Iowa caucus. When he won with less than a majority, most of the Democratic Party fell behind him immediately. If Herman Cain wins Iowa or New Hampshire, Republicans will be falling over themselves trying to give him money or get hired. By then, he’ll still have the better part of a year to win the nomination.

Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

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