This Mayoral Candidate’s Ad Looks Like It Was Directed by Wes Anderson


How very Rushmore.
National Journal
Emma Roller
June 13, 2014, 9:32 a.m.

Brett Smi­ley is run­ning for may­or of Provid­ence, R.I. But judging by his re­cent cam­paign video, he might also be au­di­tion­ing for Wes An­der­son’s next movie.

In the spot ad re­leased Fri­day, Smi­ley touts his or­gan­iz­a­tion­al skills. “Brett is the most or­gan­ized per­son I’ve ever met,” Smi­ley’s hus­band, Jim DeR­entis, says. “Who else would pro­pose mar­riage on a Power­Point present­a­tion?”


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The ad screams Wes An­der­son, from the sig­na­ture yel­low font, to the sym­met­ric­al fram­ing, to the kitschy type-writ­ten cor­res­pond­ence, to Smi­ley’s own dead­pan de­liv­ery (all it’s miss­ing is the slo-mo shot).

“My plan for pub­lic safety taxes hand­guns like we tax ci­gar­ettes,” Smi­ley says.

“Wow, that’s a big idea,” someone off­screen replies. “Are you ex­cited about it?”

“Yes,” Smi­ley dead­pans.

Align­ing your polit­ic­al brand with Wes An­der­son’s is a good idea if you’re a lib­er­al can­did­ate run­ning for of­fice in a lib­er­al area — re­mem­ber, Provid­ence is home to Brown Uni­versity. The Wes An­der­son schtick may well be the lib­er­al equi­val­ent of shoot­ing a gun in your cam­paign ad.