Perry Johnson is a Michigan weirdo. He got rich as a self-described “quality guru,” i.e. a guy who helps manufacturing plants (hence Michigan) get ISO 9000 certification, but even that is a stretch.
He ran for governor last year, and flamed out spectacularly: Along with another candidate, he hired a firm to gather the signatures he’d need to get on the ballot. The firm took his money and turned in piles of garbage signatures that didn’t pass review, or court challenges. It was pretty funny when it happened, because this is a guy who followed the Trump path of claiming that his business genius makes him qualified, even overqualified, to run the state government. But he couldn’t hire competent signature-gatherers, or even get any volunteers. Throughout his short campaign, news photos showed him flashing his veneered teeth to small rooms populated by sad-looking old white people, the kind of people who will drag themselves to campaign events in the teeth of a Michigan winter.
I wrote about his exit for Deadline. There’s not much I’d change in that column. One major expenditure, for an ad in last year’s Super Bowl, is embedded in it, and I’d encourage you to watch it, because humiliating defeat has not crushed Perry Johnson’s spirit, oh no it hasn’t. Some political consultant with an utter lack of shame has convinced ol’ Perry that he’s not gubernatorial timber, he’s presidential timber, and so: Another Super Bowl ad, this confined to Iowa media markets, and hoo-boy, here you go:
This has to be one of the most horrifying things I've seen in a while. pic.twitter.com/P9kBdMy5xp
— Ian Sandler-Bowen (@iansandlerbowen) February 12, 2023
The op-ed editor for the Detroit News points out it’s so weird, it’s probably designed just to get people talking — remember the demon-sheep spot for ol’ what’s-her-name, Carly Fiorina? So I suppose I’m playing into Perry’s greasy paws just by noticing it; the king of junk faxes would absolutely adopt that strategy. Plus, you’ll notice he’s peddling a book in the course of his ad, so maybe he’s figuring enough senile Iowans go for it, and asking their younger relatives how to read this thing called an e-book doesn’t quash enough sales (“Grandpa, what did I tell you about ordering things you see on TV?”) to make it worth it.
But I’m appalled enough by the grotesque quality of this ad that I’ll take the bait. It has it all, including two of the slimmest and most beautiful female members of Congress rendered as quadruple-chinned fat ladies. Johnson’s own wife, whom he married late in life, is plump, which shows he must not ask her opinion about much. Ah well, she’s busy with their young children. And it features the president as a gibbering idiot, because they can’t think of anything else bad to say about him.
(Just for the record, New York and Minnesota, where AOC and Ilhan Omar hail from, are donor states. Iowa, on the other hand? Takers. And they raise a lot of hogs there.)
Oh, well. He’ll learn his lesson, and some consultants will get paid, and we’ll all forget Perry Johnson soon enough. I close by echoing my colleague’s words from more than a year ago: What a weirdo.
The Chiefs won the Super Bowl. I consider this good news, something positive we’ll look back on after the alien invasion is fully realized. Carry on, and watch for more military jets overhead. Happy Monday.
Icarus said on February 13, 2023 at 9:55 am
Now that was a terrible Super Bowl ad, and I say that on the heels of a “leaves much to be desired” halftime show. Yes, the halftime show stunk but I don’t feel like dunking on a pregnant lady. The kind of people who will enjoy that ad are the kind of people who make fun of someone for their looks, but get butthurt when it comes back their way.
I’m glad KC won because the Eagles have knocked my Bears out of the playoffs twice in my lifetime. Had the inlaws over to watch. We had a light discussion about Hanoi Jane for some reason. FIL hates her with a passion, MIL actually tried to defend her a little bit. Bizzare.
nancy said on February 13, 2023 at 10:15 am
Icarus, your experience in discussing Jane Fonda is typical. I know a Vietnam vet who, to this day, thinks she should be in prison. I, too, didn’t like the halftime show, at least the music part. But I was astounded by the production, with the falling and rising stages, the choreography, all of it. Every year the SB halftime show gets more complex, maybe because the music can’t measure up anymore. But for selling it to the cheap seats, man, they know how to do it.
Deborah said on February 13, 2023 at 10:49 am
I barely know who Rihanna is, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her voice, maybe in passing in a grocery store but had no clue. We were at a get together with non sporty friends, nobody even knew who was playing except for me.
Of course Trump thinks the Chief’s are in Kansas, not Missouri. He actually probably has more fans in the backward state of Missouri, so he better watch what he says. Not that he will.
LB lived in KC when she went to the Kansas City Art Institute. We almost moved there when my husband worked for the segment of the architecture firm that we both worked for, that designed sports facilities. His specialty was convention centers that sometimes have stadiums attached. Thank goodness he quit before we had to move to KC. Instead we moved to Chicago, yay!
Heather said on February 13, 2023 at 10:54 am
I really liked last year’s halftime show with all the 90s hip-hop artists. Not a huge fan of Rihanna so . . . meh.
As for Perry Johnson, I have a hard time taking men of that age who dye their hair seriously.
Peter said on February 13, 2023 at 11:20 am
Wow. Just wow. Don’t know where to start with this one:
– Do I have this right? This guy’s elevator pitch is “elect me because I will make America look like Detroit!” Can’t see that being a big hit with the MAGA folks.
– Is it just me, or do the Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, and the Squad members look more like Mike Pompeo, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders?
– I’m not into fat shaming (because with my girth I’m one to talk!) but that Detroit News link article had a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and that guy is a certified Chubby Chaser (TM).
Alan Stamm said on February 13, 2023 at 11:28 am
Amusing comments are a bonus for clicking UM public policy student Ian’s tweet:
* “All the money he is throwing at at this and he still doesn’t know how to spend it effectively.” — Mitchell Treadwell, Traverse City Commission member
* “This makes obese MAGA folks vote for the Dems because they see representation.”
* “Looks like Perry paid about $0.02 for the design of his book cover.”
* “At 2% a year, you’d abolish the government after 50 years.”
ROGirl said on February 13, 2023 at 12:01 pm
Perry clearly didn’t follow the ISO standard requirements for the evaluation, selection and monitoring of suppliers. His company charges customer companies a lot of money to conduct quality audits to meet quality standard requirements. His company has had a bad reputation for a long time and this compounds it.
Cheez Whiz said on February 13, 2023 at 12:36 pm
I was involved in ISO9000 certification at a software company back in the 90’s. It’s a project that can be managed by a reasonably ambitious teenager. And I have 3 words for Perry Johnson: Better Call Saul.
Jeff Borden said on February 13, 2023 at 12:37 pm
Golly, but I had no idea Rihanna is part of the illuminati and a witch, who was casting spells on the millions watching the SB! Or, so the paste eaters and mouth breathers were saying online according to a few links sent my way. And this after Sam Smith did his satanic act at the Grammys! People, beware! Witches and Satanists are among us!
Dexter Friend said on February 13, 2023 at 12:39 pm
“Donald Trump won.
Hanoi Jane the traitor blah blah blah.
We could have won in Vietnam if they would have let us.”
The shit these people believe is astounding.
And everybody should watch the drama by Rob Reiner about how the USA chose to try to eradicate the people of Iraq.
I spent parts of 1970 and 1971 in Vietnam and I felt Jane Fonda was trying to help stop the invasion and end the war, a good thing. Some say the modern day Trotskyites thought her association with people categorized as Stalinists was her real problem.
Trump didn’t win and it’s crazy people believe he did.
And the whole Vietnam experience, from The Gulf of Tonkin to the carpet bombing from December 1972 until the Paris peace talks began was a disaster for all.
Mark P said on February 13, 2023 at 12:42 pm
Any time anyone claims to have a simple plan to “save America” you can safely assume they are a kook. You don’t even have to read it, just like with someone’s claim to have invented a perpetual motion machine.
Courtney said on February 13, 2023 at 4:24 pm
Hailing here from the land of ad agency work, we were all super impressed with Rihanna’s performance from a marketing standpoint. She managed to perform solo instead of being forced to collaborate, and was able to promote her makeup brand (Renty) PERFECTLY with the momentary touch up. From her brand to her fashion brands, she nailed it. I love Rihanna and my 11 year old daughter thought it was stellar – not for everyone certainly but I admire the talent and business she brought to it.
Jason T. said on February 13, 2023 at 5:16 pm
Some of the rest of the CGI in that ad is pretty poorly done, but I have to admit: Perry Johnson looks almost life-like.
Sherri said on February 13, 2023 at 5:25 pm
I’m not a big fan of Rihanna’s music, but I respect what she’s done, and I thought the halftime show was fine. I’m glad they’ve moved on from boomer nostalgia and aren’t putting 70 year old rockers on the stage there anymore. Though I would be happy if they just replayed the Prince Super Bowl halftime show every year.
The ads were pretty meh.
alex said on February 13, 2023 at 5:45 pm
I got dragged to a Madonna concert at the United Center about 20 years ago and they had the same rising/falling stage shit way back then, so I wasn’t too blown away by it.
David C said on February 13, 2023 at 6:03 pm
It wasn’t the best half time show. Prince has that nailed down, probably forever. It wasn’t the worst either. It irritated the right people (far right) so I’m OK with it.
Deborah said on February 13, 2023 at 11:02 pm
LB has informed me that I have heard Rihanna before, so there you go.
Today was a day from hell. It started in Abiquiu where we are winding down to the end of the season, so that means lots of breaking down chores. Then back to Santa Fe where I had to do a quick errand, then take a shower etc for a zoom call. After that we had to drive out to the awful Santa Fe airport to pick up the rental car for our road-trip out west which starts tomorrow. Only thing was a snowstorm started about a half hour before we left to get the car. The airport is under construction which makes a hideous place even worse. By the time we headed back the snow was coming down a lot and of course then it was rush hour. After a white knuckle drive home after a stop at Trader Joe’s for some last minute road-trip necessities I was ready for a shot of bourbon. Made dinner and now I’m ready to crash. Of course it’s still snowing and will continue until 5am. Thank goodness we are headed into warmer weather tomorrow. Not that much warmer but still.
Brandon said on February 14, 2023 at 12:26 am
the same rising/falling stage
More like a 22 meter, V-shaped truss catwalk that was lowered from the ceiling above the front of the audience”.
LAMary said on February 14, 2023 at 1:19 am
I liked the Bruce Springsteen half time show. Especially his slide on the floor of the stage that nearly crashed into a cameraman.
Dexter Friend said on February 14, 2023 at 2:55 am
LA Mary: I hobbled into the Columbus Schottenstein Center in December, 2002 for a Bruce show. Bruce and I are only 5 days separated regarding birthdays, he the younger. We sat right behind the stage, not a bad seat as the artists moved around and faced us too. Bruce got running there too and slid like a Premier League striker after a goal, on his knees…he was 53 years old. I shudder to think about doing that.
When Prince sang Purple Rain and it started raining on cue, well, ya just can’t beat that. I usually like the halftime shows; Bruno Mars was a fave. Bruno now 37 years old, someone said. I can barely imagine that and I ain’t checking.
Terror this evening as a 43 year old killer shot 8 people on-campus in East Lansing. One cop said the shootings were actually in Lansing, but others said they were in two different buildings on-campus. 3 dead, 5 in hospital…some, not divulged, in critical life-threatening grave danger. Killer dead of suicide by weapon. This may be the closest mass shooting to my house, just 100 miles away. This can happen here, there, everywhere….
Jeff Gill said on February 14, 2023 at 7:24 am
I’m feeling doubly sad about the Michigan State shootings because I’m hearing a thread through the media coverage saying accusatorially “the buildings were open to the public.” The idea campuses will get even more buttoned up and restricted just seems excessive, and not good for college & community relations, but I know it’s been a goal for many universities over the last couple of decades to make their campus and buildings controlled access.
But it’s going to be an invisible cost society accepts versus more pressure openly to reduce handgun ownership and access.
The thing about Jane Fonda is the power of an image; there’s quite a list of high profile Americans who went to Hanoi during the Vietnam War, but she swung herself into that anti-aircraft gunnery seat, and a fateful picture was snapped. Others said harsher things about US involvement, but Jane sat behind a big gun aimed at the sky, so she’s absorbed all of the anger.
Suzanne said on February 14, 2023 at 8:06 am
I lost more respect for Jane F as an adult when after her great success with her exercise videos and plans, it came out that a part of her fit body came via surgical means.
Sadly, the. MSU shooting will change nothing. Listening to the morning news, it’s not getting much more coverage than inflation. one story mentioned the shooter was black, making it more likely that Republicans will want to make black people illegal rather than guns.
Julie Robinson said on February 14, 2023 at 9:58 am
Jane also admitted she abused diuretics for years to keep the pounds off. But I do respect that at her age, she’s still out there getting arrested for her activism.
The Michigan State shooting hit me hard as I remember visiting my sister when she was a student, and I know it will trigger my mom too. It’s also the anniversary of the Northern Illinois University massacre in 2008, when she felt like it was her own kids who’d been killed.
Last night I heard about two of our family eldsters, one dead and one with whopping dementia. So all in all, a melancholy Valentine’s Day here.
I should mention I’ve already been served a scrumtious breakfast accompanied by flowers and a card. I’m not feeling unloved; I’m feeling the weight of the pain of so many others today.
Jason T. said on February 14, 2023 at 12:14 pm
In America, you’re free to survive a mass shooting at your high school so that you can live to experience a mass shooting at your college. So much pride. Greatest country in the world! Love it or leave it! U.S.A. # 1!
Baboomska McGeesk said on February 14, 2023 at 12:40 pm
Win or lose, he’ll “boost his visibility” and sell a few more books (which I assume is the point of the whole exercise).
Everyone’s an author nowadays. Hell, even my cat has written books. Nonfiction is her specialty: “Purr Yourself To Good Health” and “Just Ask For What You Want & Other Advice For Young Cats” were recently published under her own imprint.
As far as I know she’s not seeking public office.
Scout said on February 14, 2023 at 1:22 pm
Annnnnd just like that Baboomska McGeesk sweeps in to win the thread.
Our cats enjoy Valentine’s Day with candy hearts that say “I dislike you less than most” and “that scratch will heal”.
Jeff Gill said on February 14, 2023 at 3:25 pm
Speaking of scratches or eyes that will never heal: