Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who served as White House chief ethics counsel under George W. Bush, has become one of President Donald Trump’s most outspoken critics. The former ethics czar has now switched parties and hopes to return to the “dumpster fire” in Washington as a Democratic senator.
“Some people see a dumpster fire and do nothing but watch the spectacle,” Painter says in the newly released campaign ad, as he stands in front of an actual, flaming dumpster. “Some are too scared to face the danger. Or they think it’ll benefit them if they just let it keep on burning.
“There is an inferno raging in Washington. But here in the land of 10,000 lakes – we know how to put out a fire,” he says, as a torrent of water pours down from above and extinguishes the flames.
The unusual ad has been both commended and mocked for its melodramatic backdrop, further accentuated by Painter’s steely facial expression and deadpan delivery. The ad has been viewed more than 80,000 times on YouTube, and has set Twitter ablaze with the usual smörgåsbord of memes, insults and praise.