In a move that’s certain to upset the George Will class of pundits that constantly laments the “smallness” of the 2012 race, the campaign seems to be temporarily settling into a debate over Sesame Street.
On Monday evening the Obama campaign released an ad titled “Big Bird,” which mocks Mitt Romney’s debate promise to cut the federal subsidy for PBS.
VOICEOVER: “Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Dennis Kozlowski. Criminals. Gluttons of greed. And the evil genius who towered over them? One man has the guts to speak his name.”
MITT ROMNEY: “Big Bird.” “Big Bird.” “Big Bird.”
BIG BIRD: “It’s me. Big Bird.”
VOICEOVER: “Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street.”
MITT ROMNEY: “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS.”
VOICEOVER: “Mitt Romney. Taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest.”
Along with the ad, President Obama incorporated the Sesame Street attack into his stump speech to a group of donors in San Francisco. “Elmo has been seen in a white Suburban!” Obama joked, in a reference to O.J. Simpson (which is also sure to upset George Will.)
“He’s driving for the border!”
The Republican Party is making some Muppet-based attacks of its own. In response to the Obama campaign’s Sesame Street push, the RNC has released this infographic, featuring the “Campaign Count.”
While the Obama campaign’s attacks may be lacking in seriousness, so is Romney’s proposal. The subsidy to PBS makes a minuscule impact on the federal budget; as scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson put it via Twitter, “Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive.”