NASHUA – Linda Lagana is a devoted Ron Paul supporter. She does graphic design and grassroots organizing for him in New Hampshire. So when the campaign asked her to appear in an ad that would air across the state, she agreed.
But during the shoot, everything felt wrong. “They were having us read lines,” she said. “They should have let us use our own words and then cut it together.” But she trusted the director, who had been producing Republican ads for decades. How bad could it be?
When Lagana first saw the final product on YouTube, she panicked. “I almost cried,” she told me. “It was so, so bad.” So bad that everyone inside the campaign hated it, she said. So bad that Slate V
an entire Damned Spot to mocking it. (Watch the original ad
; Lagana is the one who says, “Look, the man’s a doctor, he understands the health care mess.”)
“I thought it was going to ruin the campaign,” she said. “I got on the phone and begged them not to run it.” When they said they were going ahead with the ad anyway, “I wanted to die.” The other actors weren’t quite as critical, she said, but none of them actually liked
The spot got roundly panned on the Ron Paul forums and YouTube comments sections. (See all 5400 comments
.) But these days, Lagana feels slightly better about it. “It was so bad, it’s good,” she said. “You know the guy at the end—’He’s catchin on, I’m tellin’ ya!’—that’s like a catchphrase now.”