The Spectacle Blog

Sesame Street Wars

By on 10.9.12 | 11:55AM

With Joe Biden having been sequestered for nearly a week in order to prepare for his coming shellacking by Paul Ryan, the Obama campaign team rounded up a new unwilling surrogate: Big Bird.

Following the first presidential debate in which Mitt Romney said that he would end public funding of PBS, and with shrieks of "Romney is a liar" working even less well than prior Democrat claims that Romney is a tax cheat and murderer, Team Obama is now trying to scare soccer moms that Romney will take away Sesame Street.

The campaign released an ad that is actually quite funny, but which also shows the emptiness of the current president's portfolio of ideas:

Team Romney responded in equal good humor with a picture of Sesame Street character "The Count" listing how many more times Barack Obama has mentioned Big Bird and Elmo than Libya or plans to rescue the economy:

On Tuesday, the Sesame Workshop (formerly Childrens Television Workshop) which owns the Sesame Street brand decided that this was not a fun game, that it wants to take its ball and go home, posting on their web site a request that the Obama administration take down their advertistement which makes use of Big Bird:

Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.

I imagine, although it does not seem to be included in the original request, that it would also apply to the GOP's use of The Count. (I doubt it was intentional cleverness by the Republicans, but even if both teams comply, it is a lot easier to save and share an image than to do the same with a video -- though both are remarkably easy thanks to Algore's invention of the Internet.)

Given that most 5-year old children don't vote (with the possible exception of in Chicago, thus perhaps explaining the Obama campaign's rush to run a Big Bird ad), it is hard to imagine this little kerfuffle do anything other than make the president look even less presidential than he already does in recent days.

This election is far from over and Barack Obama remains better than a 3-to-2 favorite in the betting odds to be reelected (I have bought Romney and shorted Obama). Nevertheless, Democrat desperation is showing despite the Big Bird ad being the first thing in recent memory (other than perhaps everything Joe Biden says) to make me laugh out loud.

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