"We minorities should stick together," the Korean lady says to the Jewish congressional candidate. It's one of the catch phrases from a weird political ad that is approaching meme status from Southern California Democrat Dan Adler, who is in the running to replace Jane Harman in the state's 36th congressional district. The 30-second spot primarily features a back-and-forth between Adler, who points out he's Jewish and his wife is Korean, and the Korean lady at the dry cleaner, who is concerned about Medicare and presumably some other stuff. There's also a guy with some chest tattoos pointing out that "Asians are 15 percent of voters here; politicians don't speak to our issues." The end is the best, but you'd better see for yourself:
It's pretty awkward, and you can see people starting to get weirded out in their reactions. On BuzzFeed, Ashley Baccam declares, "I don't know if I should be offended or laugh because it's so bad." Andrew Sullivan is kind of into it, and doesn't spare a cheap Asians-can't-pronounce-English joke: "Yes it is painfully crude, but kinda touching in a way. Pity about the Korean laundry. And the entire R and L problem with a man called Adler. But the intention is good enough, no?" TPM's Benjy Sarlin calls the Korean lady's role "weird and seemingly quite patronizing." He also points out that it's weird on purpose, along the lines of Carly Fiorina's Demon Sheep.
Huffington Post politics writer Amanda Terkel tweets, "the only reason I'm both Korean and Jewish is because I know that minorities need to stick together. Considering becoming Hispanic too." And the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco asks, "Is this hilariously bad political ad for Asian Am voters 4 real?"
Yeah, it's real, it's meta, it's all of the above. What's insulting isn't his pandering to ethnic groups but his pandering to the Internet. As if he could win over bloggers with some goofy video...oh wait.
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