The most clever presidential campaign ad: details from the Romney-Ryan tax plan.

The Cleverest Presidential Campaign Ad You'll See Online

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Oct. 16 2012 1:43 PM

The Cleverest Presidential Campaign Ad You'll See Online

R is for real talk

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Finally! The Romney campaign has released a “detailed explanation of how the Romney-Ryan tax plan is able to cut taxes by $5 trillion without raising taxes on the middle class or exploding the deficit.” To access it, just go to this website and click on the bright red “Get the details” button.

Really, go click on it. We don’t want to spoil the surprise.


Are you back yet? No luck, right? Every time you tried to position your cursor over the button, it scampered away, swerving and ducking like an urchin in a Dickens novel. (Yes, transplanted to America, that urchin would probably form part of the 47 percent.) It was both frustrating and delightfully funny. The nitty-gritty of the Romney-Ryan tax plan remains veiled in mystery. And what could have been a huge step forward in transparency for the GOP ticket reveals itself to be a clever pre-debate stunt from the Obama-Biden camp.

This brainy bit of high-tech partisanship was paid for by the Democratic National Committee, which has kindly provided viewers with its own fact sheet about the Republican tax plan and what it means for the middle class. That fact sheet, however, proves far less addictive than chasing the nimble “details” button around the site like a crazed Whac-a-mole player. Score one for the Democrats for a witty use of technology in the presidential campaign. Still, let’s hope both candidates act a bit less slippery in tonight’s debate.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Katy Waldman is Slate’s words correspondent. 

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