Oh Rick Perry. The 2012 republican presidential hopeful, who recently released the most offensive and anti-gay-rights of political ads, “Strong,” in a last-ditch effort to court Iowa citizens, has been heckled by said Iowa citizens during his appearance in Ames, Iowa. Things shouted include “Why do you hate gay people so much?” (yeah, Rick Perry, why?) “Why can’t gays compete in the military?” and “Go back to Texas!”. In response, Perry didn’t take any questions, promptly left the coffee house he was speaking at through the back door (insert innuendo at will) and disappeared in a magical black car.
Perry and Iowa pretty much have an urgent, unrequited, one-sided love at this point. Perry loves Iowa, and he desperately wants Iowa to love him back. In fact, he’s outdone himself courting Iowa in the weeks before the state’s caucuses — the National Journal has reported that Perry’s campaign has spent over half a million dollars (out of a total $1.2 million bought in advertising and airtime) on Iowa advertisements.
Why all of this fuss over Iowa? The state is particularly important because it holds the first electoral event that happens in the route to becoming a presidential candidate. (It's also the site of the Ames Straw Poll.) The outcome in Iowa is usually a good indicator of who will be successful (and who won’t) — hence Perry’s mad scramble for votes, which likely gave crazy-alien birth to the ill-advised “Strong” video. But, as it turns out, this last-ditch effort may be what’s keeping Perry’s love for Iowa voters still chastely unrequited.
My question is, what was he expecting? First off, he decides to release a desperate and offensive campaign ad in a last-string effort to garner support from Iowa’s conservative Christians. After this crazy talk has been plastered all over his campaign — no openly gay people in the military anymore, check; Obama’s support of gay rights is bad, check — he arrives in Iowa and selectively picks and chooses whether to discuss or answer questions about a lot of these hot-topic issues he’s been suavely mongering to the public in his signature Wish-I-Knew-How-to-Quit-You Brokeback Mountain jacket.
What is it about conservative political figures being particularly outspoken about topics like gay rights in scripted, official situations, but not knowing how to respond to real inquiries from real people in others? Like Mitt Romney not knowing how to respond to a gay veteran when the veteran asks Romney how he feels about gay marriage? Or Michelle Bachmann icily staring at the lesbian parents of a child who’s told her there’s nothing wrong with his moms?
On the brighter side, many have responded to Perry’s now-viral “Strong” ad, with a great deal of parody videos, everything from BadLipReading.com’s interpretation of Perry’s ad (“Man, he’d scalp a sentimental cripple! What a douche,”) to Funny Or Die’s parody “Weak” (“Did you know [gays] can [even] serve coffee in Starbucks?”) and Stephen Colbert’s consideration of Rick Perry’s ad, which comes complete with two sexy Santa-men making out under the mistletoe. Watch and marvel at the ridiculous amount of Brokeback Mountain-esque jackets in existence.
Bad Lip-Reading: Rick Perry's "Strong"
Funny or Die's "Weak"