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Some Notes on Dan Patrick’s Ridiculous Campaign Ad

A couple of weeks ago, during a rare moment while I was in my living room and not watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and/or asleep on the couch, I happened across an attack ad from prospective lieutenant governor Dan Patrick. Now that Patrick is in a runoff against David Dewhurst, you can probably expect more of these things, which are so over the top, they are almost parodies.

1. The first name you hear — in a surprise only to people who have the calm, unruffled demeanor of a house cat — is Barack Obama. Wait. We have to talk about the voice. The voiceover actor they hired is like, let’s see, OK, go to a community theater in Pecos. Find the retiree who decided to give this ol’ acting thing a shot now that he’s not so busy on the ranch anymore. Lock that guy in a dark room for one to two weeks while a recording of Sam Elliott reading the cowboy poetry of Waddie Mitchell plays all day every day. Finally let him out — being super-careful to not let him see your face, because you’re just a casting director and they’re not paying you enough to go to jail for Dan Patrick or anyone else — and hand him a script that begins “Why does Obama’s favorite liberal…” and here we are.

2. San Antonio mayor and Democrat hopeful Julian Castro’s name is pronounced here as “MEXICAN. PROBABLY ILLEGAL MEXICAN.” In fairness, it takes a little practice to perfectly hit all the nuances of the Spanish language. Harder than it looks.

3. ALSO: they managed the neat trick of finding photos of Obama and Castro where they both look mean and stupid. As someone who regularly scours the internet for photos of Rick Perry that have those two qualities, I know it’s not that — I’m kidding. They are close to having to create a second internet solely to store the vast reserves of “Rick Perry looks mean and stupid” photos.

4. The first shot of Dan Patrick has him in knockoff Oakleys and dad jeans staring at … the Texas border, I guess. SECURING it. PROTECTING you. Listen, if you’re going to go that way, I mean, go that way. I don’t want to see Dan Patrick at the border, checking it out like it’s another item on his honey-do list. I want him in head-to-toe tactical gear, face camo-painted, casually handling a rifle. The way he’s dressed, he looks like he’s checking out his yard to see if there’s room for the rose bushes his wife wants, rose bushes he will HIRE SOMEONE ELSE TO PLANT.

5. He makes Dewhurst and his now-vanquished foes sound like they drive Priuses with NPR stickers on them, which, whatever, that’s fine. That’s standard operating procedure. But then: the end. Oh, my gosh. The tagline comes up — “Secure the Border. Fight Obama” — accompanied by, no joke, an eagle cry. SNL would reject this parody as “too on the nose.”

I’m kind of excited to see where Patrick goes next, now that he’s in a runoff with Dewhurst. I’m thinking it’ll be a 30-second shot of Dewhurst eating a taco (“David Dewhurst likes Mexican food”) while someone folksily dog-cusses Obama.