Wow. I mean, wow. John Stewart, among many others, has been skewering Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindals’ presidential announcement ad, so I new I needed to see it for myself. I just watched it, and…wow.
Shot from the perspective of a Go Pro wearing cat caught in a tree, the video is a one long take of Jindal and his family sitting around a table in their backyard. Bobby, his face obscured by a tree limb, announces TO HIS CHILDREN that he’s going to run for President. The kids respond with the same enthusiasm you might expect from a “Mommy and Daddy are getting a divorce” announcement, which is pretty much total silence.
From the man who once said the Republican Party should stop being the “stupid” party, this is one of the dumbest stunts I’ve ever seen from a politician in any party. It’s wrong on so many levels you’d need a calculator to count them all.
It’s clear that this was an attempt by handlers to make Jindal look “folksy” and “genuine” within a casual family gathering. Got it. And that is the first problem with this video. Casual family gatherings are normally where people talk about very mundane, day-to-day activities, like what happened at school or work or who’s dating whom. How many family gatherings have you been to where someone announces he is running for President of the United States? That would be zero. Okay, Jindal makes one, which is what makes this concept so preposterous and contrived.
Now, if you were taping a Presidential announcement vid, and the premise is that you are making the announcement first to your family, wouldn’t you want the children to be excited that Daddy might one day be President of the U.S.? In Jindal’s video, however, the kids sit in stunned silence, with one of the boy’s giving his Dad an awkward thumbs up. Now you or I or anyone with an IQ over 70 would say, “Hey, let’s try that again with a little more enthusiasm.” But the geniuses in the Jindal camp must have thought the genuineness of the moment was a positive thing. How very, very wrong they were.
And what are we to make of Jindal announcing his presidential ambitions to children, and using that as his announcement to the nation at large? Is he comparing the American voters to children? Does he think he needs to make his announcement simple enough for a seven-year old to understand?
I could go on, but I’ll end with a technical issue, but a rather large one in my opinion. I don’t know how much the media buy was for Bobby’s announcement, but would you or anyone else spend tens of thousands of dollars placing a video promoting your candidate in prime time where his face is obscured by a tree limb? Genuine moment or not, this is a major no no. It comes off as totally amateurish rather than a warm family moment. Do you think the American people are so familiar with Jindal that he doesn’t need to show his face? Bobby Jindal?
Jindal’s announcement ad deserves all of the ridicule it is getting. It’s mawkish, amateurish and displays an epic amount of poor judgment on the part of the candidate and his team. And, I’m sure, accurately reflects Bobby Jindal’s character to a T.