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Obama’s New Big Bird Ad Means We’re Still Talking About Big Bird

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on October 9, 2012

Only Mitt Romney dare speak the evil name of Big Bird

It’s a funny premise … but there’s also something sad about this ad. When did this election become a referendum on Sesame Street? The quick Twitter jokes, parodies and memes were terrific. The dude in the costume who showed up to Mitt Romney’s rally extended the story for a day. Heck, even Saturday Night Live got into the act. That’s the cue to move on. That’s how it works. That’s the social media contract.

By producing this ad, the Obama For America campaign is taking the bait on something it should be attacking. The party line should be about how Romney and the Republicans are focusing on minor, misguided solutions like revoking Sesame Street’s funding, while we’re out here trying to solve the real problems like grown-ups. That’s how to play it, if at all. And maybe that’s the underlying point of this facetious ad, but by being sarcastic jerks about it, you just look like you’re wasting time on an eight-foot bird.

Leave the Big Bird mess to Twitter. Leave it to web’s sarcastic jerks. Leave it to Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, who turned in a terrific performance about this very issue on Monday night. This is how it’s done.

Stewart’s best line about the PBS Affair: “Fox News is upset that empty-headed puppets are trying to brainwash and indoctrinate Americans? Perhaps you could sue them. The charge could be copyright infringement.”

UPDATE: Sesame Workshop released a statement: “We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down … Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns.”

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