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Campaign Trailer Critic: Get On Board the Herman Cain Train!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Talk show host and conservative Herman Cain (Brendan Smialowski/Getty)

Raising Cain, y'all!

It begins with a fed-up yeoman.

This older, white, bearded farmer dumps some farm kudzu into his shed with a thud, and looks directly at the camera. "I want the government to work for me, the tax payer." Cue a drummer in the wild west, the rip of an electric guitar, and Herman Cain walks onto a stage.

You've got to respect Cain. It takes guts to make your first presidential campaign video a country music video.  In this four minute feature, Herman Cain stars as a cowboy with a country music backup band, which sings,

"He's a true son of the south, born and raised the American way."

The setting is the iconic symbol of American freedom: the wild west. Freight trains roll by, and spoiler alert! Herman Cain's name is superimposed on those trains.

"His train is coming to town like a hurricane...get on board the Herman Cain train."

Cain comes off as a supremely happy dude. He talks about sweat equity, he smiles as he walks up to a grain silo, he laughs into his cell phone. He's hugging people, smiling, cracking jokes. He's got a chorus of people shouting, "We're going to raise some Cain!"

And, the best part is there's a Joe the Plumber cameo! "Hey Obama, you're going to raise a billion dollars? Well, we're going to raise some Cain." Booyah.

Thank god, at least one Presidential candidate has a sense of humor. Hands down, Cain wins the funny contest against Obama, forget about the other candidates. He is far from the soft and cuddly great uncle of Mitt Romney's campaign video, in a different universe from T-Paw's modern Clark Kent/Superman persona, and a galaxy from the historian of Newt Gingrich's "documentary."

In his cowboy hat and leather jacket, Cain is cool. In fact, he's so cool he was speaking at Tea Parties "before it was cool." Also, he's a plain talker.

"Stupid people are running America."

Like all campaign videos these days (except for Mitt Romney's campaign announcement, which didn't pull away from his own face for one moment), this one is filled with a diverse set of faces. Cain tells people who call the Tea Party a "racist organization" to "eat your words."  Take that, suckah!

There's a chorus of "Raising Cain" from supporters, Cain talks about being the descendant of slaves, and the video ends with a street sign of "New Hope Road." Take that, Obama!

Yes, he's wearing a cowboy hat, and yes his claim to fame is turning around Godfather Pizza, but Herman Cain is serious. Seriously funny. You might not like his politics, but it's hard not to like the guy. It's no surprise this charismatic businessman won a recent Republican candidate debate in South Carolina.

"When I became President and CEO of Godfather's pizza, it was supposed to go bankrupt--but I didn't get the memo."

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