The video: Rick Perry's presidential campaign has released a slick online ad dismissing Barack Obama as "President Zero." The video starts out "like a trailer for a zombie movie," with quick cuts showing desolate streets, boarded-up homes, and empty shops. (View the video below). A string of television reporters announce that the country added zero jobs in August. Obama's iconic "O" symbol appears, and is replaced with a zero. The ad then shifts to a cheerier montage of galloping horses and American flags, as Perry, the Texas governor and GOP presidential frontrunner, promises to get the country "working again." "We don't need a president who apologizes for America," Perry says in the video. "I believe in America. I believe in her purpose and her promise. I believe her best days have not yet been lived."
The reaction: This ad "scares me," says Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post. "I understand that 2012 is quickly turning into the Political Apocalypse." But when the frontrunner puts out an ad that resembles "the trailer of a Transformers movie," it's clear "we live in the End Times." C'mon, says John Hinderaker at Power Line. "President Zero" is a "very, very good" ad, and it sets "a new technical and aesthetic standard that other campaigns (most of all President Obama's) will have to try to match." There's no question, this is "Hollywood-caliber" stuff, says Greg Howard at Slate. It may even be "the single greatest cinematic achievement since, like, The Empire Strikes Back. Or at least better than anything we saw in the theater this summer." Take a look: