Another sign of the apocalypse: When Frank Underwood, the cold and ruthlessly manipulative protagonist in Netflix’s dark political drama “House of Cards,” is being held out as a model politician.

Sure, it might be disconcerting. But it’s also amusing, especially when it’s done right.

And Goldman Sachs tax lawyer and congressional candidate Archie Parnell of Sumter did a good job channeling his inner Underwood in a web ad released May 30 ahead of the June 20 special election.

In the ad, Parnell, a Democrat vying for the seat Republican Mick Mulvaney left behind when he became director of the Office of Management and Budget, doles out a series of Underwoodisms, such as:

“We have a saying in Sumter, where I’m from: ‘Never slap a man chewing tobacco.’”

“Shake with your right hand, but hold a rock with your left.”

Standing beside his wife, he quips: “You see this woman? I love her more than sharks love blood.”

He also gets in some ubiquitous digs at Trump, saying: “The president of the United States fired the FBI director. That actually happened. It’s not on the show.”

Not everyone was amused.

Maddie Anderson, regional press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, was critical of the ad, saying it appeared that “Archie Parnell is running to be DC’s congressman, not South Carolina’s.”

Anderson made the statement in a mass email to reporters with the subject line: “Have you seen this really weird video?”

After hesitantly opening the message, Sidebar was pleasantly surprised.

Thank you, Ms. Anderson.



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