The jury’s out on just how seriously Democratic candidate Dan Adler should be taken in the crowded primary to replace departed Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) in California’s 36th district, but the career entertainment executive is drawing plenty of attention for his bizarre — and possibly offensive — ad campaign.
In his latest ad, Adler hangs out with a multi-ethnic crowd touting his appeal to Asian voters by pointing out that he’s married to a Korean and that — as a Jew — he can understand what it’s like to be a minority. In a weird and seemingly quite patronizing twist, a heavily-accented Korean immigrant woman in a laundromat awkwardly interrupts him throughout the ad, finally asking the camera “What’s a mensch?” The clip is drawing attention from viral video sites.
It seems clear that Adler, who is backed by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, is going the “Demon Sheep” route, using ads specifically designed to spread online out of shock value or just sheer weirdness. In another out-there spot, former child star Patty Duke declares “Dan Adler: He Gets Shit Done.”
In a similarly foul-mouthed video, Adler ups the shock factor to 11 by having his own young son deliver the catchphrase. He then proceeds to make a special effects-assisted dunk on a garage basketball hoop that would put Blake Griffin to shame.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.