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

How very Rushmore.
National Journal
Add to Briefcase
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?”


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.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.