The veteran Republican political consultant Fred Davis is considering an ad campaign that criticizes President 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 crawl 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 and has to have adult supervision around the clock."
Davis proposed a similar ad campaign linking Obama to Wright during the 2008 campaign. But John McCain and several of his top aides rejected Davis's 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.