What: A very real campaign ad that should look rather familiar to fans of a certain HBO comedy.
Who: Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Why we care: The main lesson of the Trump era might boil down to: Be careful what you joke about, it might just become a reality. That’s not always necessarily a bad thing, though. Veep creator Armando Iannucci recently joked about a hilarious premise for a satirical movie about Trump, and now that movie may actually be happening. Now, a terrible campaign ad from the show Iannucci created appears to have manifested into a real ad in real life.
Here’s the original ad, from Veep’s upward-failing homunculus, Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons):
Now take a gander at this ad from Senator Joe Donnelly, a centrist Democrat up for re-election in 18 days:
The folksy chopping. The patronizing display of his conservative values. Donnelly is basically one vest away from this being a “Gus van Sant Psycho remake”-type situation. The ad is too obviously real (and awful) to even count as parody. I have so many questions, chief of which is, “Huh?” Either the senator’s own ad team got really stoned while watching Veep the day before a deadline and whipped up this concept in a frantic haze—or they’re pranking him. The only alternative is that Donnelly has the all-time greatest political sense of humor and this is one big goof. My only hope is that enough people hear about the resemblance to make the senator address it at a press conference—just like something that would happen on Veep.