As Matthew Continetti remarked on Twitter, whoever handles Team Cruz’ campaign ads deserves a raise — assuming this comes directly from the campaign, as MSNBC reported today. While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders argued over the record of Henry Kissinger and the foreign policy of the Nixon administration, the Cruz campaign launched a pitch-perfect shot at Hillary in this Office Space spoof. Rather than destroying a printer, however, “Hillary” and two aides destroy an e-mail server while the soundtrack raps out, “Damn, it feels good to be a Clinton”:
The song itself doesn’t just attack Hillary, but also the media bias that shields her from accountability. “Lapdogs in the press keep their mouths tight, ’cause a Clinton never needs to explain why…” Ouch. It goes back to Hillary, though: “A Clinton plays the victim for promotion, a Clinton kills it off with a smile.”
This is brilliant, and not just for its cleverness. While Office Space may be 21 years old by now, it’s firmly in the cultural consciousness, a handy reference for Gen-Xers and even millennials. It doesn’t just zing Hillary and the media, it communicates to younger voters that Ted’s one of us. Neither Hillary or Bernie Sanders is even likely to know about Office Space, nor is Donald Trump, which is Cruz’ secondary target with this approach. It’s a grabber, and while it won’t instantly convert voters, it will likely get some of them to give Cruz another look just for that spark of cultural recognition.
In case you don’t recall it from the original, here’s the edited-safe-for-work clip from Office Space:
If Team Cruz wants to return to this theme, maybe they’ll cast Bernie Sanders as Milton. Maybe they can have him mumbling, “I’m going to Bern the place down,” while looking for his Red heritage.