Herman Cain's "Smoking" Video Goes Viral

Campaign manager Mark Block is a one-man show in a promotional video for Republican candidate Herman Cain. Speaking to a severely close camera, Block encourages Americans to take action:

Tomorrow is one day closer to the White House. I really believe that Herman Cain will put united back in the United States of America, and if I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be here. We've run a campaign like nobody's ever seen. But then, Americans never seen a candidate like Herman Cain. We need you to get involved because, together, we can do this. We can take this country back.

Then, Cain takes a drag of a cigarette. Cue the patriotic music, show the award-winning Herman Cain smile, and you have yourself a viral video.

Asked about the video, Cain said, "We weren't trying to send any subliminal message whatsoever. Many of us found it hilarious because we know Mark Block."

The video has received a lot of attention. On the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert pokes fun of the ad by lighting up a cigarette and showing his own version of Cain videos.

Discussion Starters:

  • What is Mark Block's strategy with this video? Do you believe he was successful?
  • What ethical issues do you see in connection with this ad?
  • What are the potential ramifications for Herman Cain and his candidacy?