Veteran Republican political consultant Fred Davis is considering an ad campaign that criticizes President Barack Obama's ties to his former controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, The New York Times reported Thursday. Davis is a flashy Los Angeles-based strategist who is known as "Hollywood Fred" among his friends and colleagues and has been credited with coming up with some of the most creative and downright bizarre political ads in recent campaigns.
From filming an actor crawling through a field of sheep on all fours dressed as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" with burning red eyes to creating a digital blimp-sized head of Sen. Barbara Boxer that explodes out of the Capitol building and sweeps across the nation, Davis' experimental political films stand out from traditional 30-second spots that dominate the market in an election cycle. Davis was responsible for John McCain's "Celebrity" ad during the 2008 presidential race, one of the most talked-about commercials of the cycle.
For an idea of what the proposed anti-Obama ads might look like, here's a quick tour of Davis' work over the past few years:
"Hot Air: The Movie"
Several Republican strategists who have worked with Davis on past campaigns criticized the ad man for sometimes valuing the attention an ad gets over how it might help a candidate's campaign.
"He goes for anything that will go viral, whether it's extreme or not, whether it helps the campaign or not," one strategist, who declined to be named talking about Davis, told Yahoo News. "He just wants eyeballs."
Mark Salter, a former top aide to McCain who worked with Davis during the 2008 campaign, said the ad-maker needs "round-the-clock adult supervision."
Davis proposed a similar ad campaign linking Obama to Wright during the 2008 campaign. But McCain and several of his top aides, including Salter, rejected Davis' plan.
"It was a bad idea then," one former McCain aide, who declined to be named discussing Davis, said. "It's a profoundly stupid idea now."
Holly Bailey contributed reporting.
More popular Yahoo! News stories:
Want more of our best political stories? Visit The Ticket or connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or add us on Tumblr. Handy with a camera? Join our Election 2012 Flickr group to submit your photos of the campaign in action.
- Politics & Government