A goofy new campaign ad from “Right to Rise,” the Super PAC supporting former Florida governor Jeb Bush in his effort to win the Republican presidential primary, attacks Bush’s protégé-turned opponent Marco Rubio for his youth, experience, and inconsistency. And for his boots.
Doing absolutely nothing to remedy Bush’s reputation for being stiff and awkward, the ad uses a 50-year-old Nancy Sinatra song, “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’” and features a man, visible from the waist down, wearing a business suit and black cowboy boots dancing across the screen.
The boots are an obvious reference to Rubio’s shiny black leather boots (to our eyes they’re clearly Chelsea boots not cowboy boots) and were the subject of an oddly large number of stories in the media last week, including at least four articles in The New York Times alone.
With a design and color scheme meant to invoke the 1960s go-go era of mini dresses and tall leather boots, the modified lyrics scroll across the bottom of the stage, with a bouncing black boot helpfully jumping from word to word.
The ad contains such memorable lines as “One of these days young Marco’s gonna flip, flop, flip on you” and “You keep flippin’ when you shoulda not flop.” In the background, quotations from headlines suggesting that Rubio has changed position on a variety of issues flash on and off.
While the ad was not produced by the Bush campaign, the candidate is closely associated with Right to Rise, having formed the organization himself prior to announcing his presidential run. Presumably, the ad is supposed to be funny, but instead it comes across as awkward and uncomfortable, like a Dad joke told in a car full of teenagers.
Offered in support of a candidate desperately in need of some youth and fire in his campaign, the ad actually revealed how little of either it really has.