If the candidates made ads for each other

At Monday’s YouTube-CNN presidential debate, the candidates were asked to supply a “YouTube-style video” and to say something nice about the person standing beside them. I think we should combine the two and have the hopefuls produce ads for their rivals. The resulting clips would liven up the process.

Hillary Clinton for
John Edwards

Justin Timberlake, draped in the American flag and wearing a sequined football helmet, shimmies on the dance floor. “I wanna rock your body…” He tears a photo of Ann Coulter to bits. Dozens of TV screens drop from above, with Hillary’s face on each, and she intones solemnly, “Vote Edwards.” Timberlake winks at the camera.

John Edwards for
John McCain
Same footage as the recent Edwards spot with his wife Elizabeth, except all references to her husband become plugs for McCain, rendered in McCain’s voice: “[John McCain!] has an unbelievable toughness, particularly about other people, and that is, [John McCain’s!] ability to fight for them. They’re not going to outsmart [John McCain!]. [John McCain!] works harder than any human being I know. It’s unbelievably important that in our president [John McCain!] we have someone who can stare the worst in the face. And not blink. [Like John McCain!]”

Rudy Giuliani for
Hillary Clinton
Close-up on Giuliani in blonde wig and dress: “I’m Hillary Clinton. Together, we can make America a better place.” Cut to Donald Trump: “She’s hired!”

Dennis Kucinich for
Barack Obama
Kucinich lounges poolside. “There’s no way I’m getting the nomination. So vote for, I dunno … Barack Obama.” He shrugs and sips a piña colada as Obama Girl splashes water at him playfully.

Fred Thompson for Al Gore
They’re animated as Second Life avatars, of course, in a tricked-out Oval Office with psychedelic track lighting and an outsized, transparent “red phone”/lava lamp. The theme from Law & Order plays. Fred: C’mon, run. Al: No. Fred: You know you want to. Al: No way. Fred: If you don’t, we’ll all die from global warming. (They clutch their cheeks Macaulay Culkin-style.) Both: OH NO! Cut to: LBJ’s 1964 “Daisy” commercial, with the legend “Gore ’08” superimposed over the mushroom cloud.

—Posted by David Gianatasio