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.