Monday was a day of throwbacks to recent decades past, from word of a Face/Off reboot to news that near-Dick Cheney successor Sarah Palin is being dumped by her husband. Speaking of Cheney, Valerie Plame — the CIA spy notoriously outed by the former vice president’s team as petty retaliation against her husband for a newspaper article he wrote — dropped a campaign ad for her congressional run in New Mexico. And some people on Twitter think it might be the best trailer of the year.
Wow. Valerie Plame just launched her bid for Congress with the best ad of all time that could also be a trailer for a fun spy movie. pic.twitter.com/OGCDDhcXwP
— Sean Kent (@seankent) September 9, 2019
The ad denies the viewer a look at Plame till the final moments, instead letting her calmly and wryly narrate over a slick helicopter shot of a Camaro speeding down a desert road — backwards, like in a Fast and/or Furious movie. Plame tells her story: How she was a badass government operative whose job was preventing “rogue states and terrorist from getting nuclear weapons,” and how her “service was cut short when my own government betrayed me.”
No one was ever been formally punished for Plame’s curiously timed outing, which came soon after her spouse, U.S. diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, penned an op-ed in The New York Times questioning the Bush administration’s reasons for going to war with Iraq. But Plame has long pinned the blame on Scooter Libby, Cheney’s notorious former advisor, who she alleged leaked her name to The Washington Post, thus jeopardizing her life and ending her career. Libby was later convicted of three crimes, though none of them were for outing Plame.
In the ensuing decade-and-a-half, Plame hasn’t kept quiet; she even tried to buy a controlling share in Twitter so she could ban the current president. But running for congress is her biggest volley yet to get back in the public sphere, despite having started her career being as far away from it as she could.
The ad may wind up working. “Plamegate,” as it came to be known, was such a big deal during the Bush II administration that it was made into a big-budget Hollywood movie: 2010’s Fair Game, which starred Naomi Watts and Sean Penn and was directed by no less than The Bourne Identity auteur Doug Liman.
Perhaps that explains why Plame’s ad looks like it’s selling an action movie, not a political campaign. It even has a villain: not Cheney, not Libby, but the man who pardoned the latter: Donald J. Trump. “Mr. President,” Plame says once she finally appears, “I’ve got a few scores to settle.”
Plame’s ad received notices worthy of the Toronto International Film Festival, now in progress.
Former CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose identity was illegally leaked by George W. Bush administration officials, launches her bid for Congress in New Mexico with a pretty intense ad. pic.twitter.com/G2jLumrSXj
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) September 9, 2019
— Rob Gill (@vote4robgill) September 9, 2019
Really excited that they’re rebooting the Valerie Plane franchise. https://t.co/Q2vUGc7b3p
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) September 9, 2019
Valerie Plame's first campaign ad is INTENSE https://t.co/Bv69owTWDO
— Jessie Opoien (@jessieopie) September 9, 2019
Goddamn. Now THAT's a campaign ad: https://t.co/sVwvh5Uve2
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) September 9, 2019
Valerie Plame Wilson (outed CIA Operativel) just dropped the mic on y'all with this total bad ass campaign kickoff ad. She is a Democrat running for Congress and I am totally here for it! pic.twitter.com/zHp4xCxRPH
— Black Women Views (@blackwomenviews) September 9, 2019
😂Like MALE candidates never pump up their bios or put out macho ads… it’s politics🙄
For all the sanctimonious GOP hypocrites excusing Trump endangering an embedded CIA spy (after outing an Israeli spy to Russians in the Oval Office), I hope Valerie Plame wins in a landslide! pic.twitter.com/L3CMd7baXI
— #FilthyMouthedExWife🆘 (@TheMominatrixx) September 9, 2019
OH MY GOD STOP EVERYTHING AND WATCH THIS AD … https://t.co/GPzO3Z5Dxx
— Amanda Deibert 🏳️🌈 (@amandadeibert) September 9, 2019
Talk about making a screeching entrance into a race!https://t.co/oeWu11KQkr
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 9, 2019
Not much to say about this but WOW. https://t.co/dkD90OYNJS
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) September 9, 2019
If you think Trump is scared of Chrissy Teigen, wait til you see @realDonaldTrump soil himself when he watches this announcement from Valerie Plame! She's running for Congress in New Mexico!#PresidentPAB #ValeriePlame #NewMexico https://t.co/fy533K9DLp
— Nancy Levine 🌊 (@nancylevine) September 9, 2019
You may not live anywhere near New Mexico, and therefore can’t vote for Plame. But re-watching her ad is one way of giving her some support.