On Oct. 24 Presidential aspirant and former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer tweeted, “My campaign manager wants to spoof the Herman Cain ad. Yay or nay?”

Buddy, Buddy, Buddy… you don’t announce a spoof – least of all do you want to be caught polling about whether to do it. The surest way to drain the fun from a parody is to remind everyone that the whole thing is just a gag. You never see Saturday Night Live begin with a disclaimer about the parodies to follow. Instead, the program begins with no warning, with a skit that’s usually a political satire. They hope to lure the audience far enough into the premise so the subsequent punchlines will get laughs. And they understand that the comedy “ether” dissipates if you remind everyone that the whole thing is a big fake, and the political impersonators should never be confused with the genuine article.

I made the mistake of reading about Cain’s presidential campaign video prior to watching it – the one that ends with an aide puffing defiantly on a cigarette — and didn’t find it nearly as godawful as everyone else did. But it was certainly bizarre enough to justify a quick spoofing. Several days later, supporters of other GOP candidates got into the act.

To his credit, Roemer was one of the first to consider a spoof; he should’ve struck while the iron was hot. As I’ve said before, Roemer needs a viral video to push his candidacy beyond the one percent threshold that currently bars him from the crucial GOP debates. Yet, instead of decisive action, Roemer– whose campaign slogan is “free to lead”– consulted the twittersphere about whether he should follow his campaign manager’s advice. What sort of message did that send? Roemer might as well have said, “My mother thinks this sweater looks ‘really swell.’ Should I wear it to the party tonight?”

A couple weeks back, Roemer sent me this tweet:

(Click on image to enlarge it.)

Likewise, Governor, likewise.

Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and...