By Natalka Karaman and Keegan Gibson
“Separated at Birth,” a quirky, six-minute web video, explores the “remarkable coincidences” and “bizarre similarities” between President Barack Obama and Senator Bob Casey. Dripping with sarcasm, the video is the entrepreneur’s latest effort to buoy his low name ID and show that he is the candidate best equipped to take on Casey.
Shot in faux-documentary style, it examines the “very real” possibility that President Obama and Casey were separated at birth and are actually even twins. Three fictional experts, behavioral scientist Dr. Arthur Herberstein, probability expert Dr. Milo Kamdermann, and body language expert Dr. Melinda Farraday, provide expert opinions and “mountains of evidence” suggesting Casey is either related to, or wants to become Obama.
“If you look a little deeper at the photos, I think it becomes quite clear that Casey is actually trying to mimic Obama [...] for example, Casey has taken up all of Obama’s favorite activities: dancing, bowling, even karaoke,” says the actress playing Farraday.
With dramatic music in the background, the video compares everything from Obama and Casey’s tendency to dress alike to their voting records (emphasized in the video as being the same 98 percent of the time). It ends on a positive note – painting Welch as the not-a-career-politician candidate and family man.
Welch accumulated significant personal wealth as an entrepreneur whose suburban Philadelphia company invests in other businesses. He ran, briefly, for congress in the 7th and later 6th congressional districts – withdrawing in favor of Pat Meehan and Jim Gerlach, respectively.
His campaign team includes John Brabender, Brian Nutt who managed Tom Corbett’s campaigns, and Peter Towey, former political director for Pat Toomey. Brabender is known for outside-the-box campaign videos.
Welch’s profile – businessman turned independently wealthy candidate – is similar to other members of the top tier of the GOP Senate primary. Tim Burns of Washington County founded a medical equipment company, and in 2010 challenged Mark Critz in a special and the general election for the seat of the late Rep. John Murtha.
Tom Smith of Armstrong County built a mid-sized coal mining operation which he sold in recent years. Also a former Tea Party leader, he has considerable personal wealth and has already loaned $750,000 to his campaign.
Other GOP candidates include former State Rep. and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer of Berks County; David Christian, a veterans’ advocate from Bucks County; Laureen Cummings, founder of the Scranton Tea Party; Marc Scaringi, a Harrisburg-area attorney and former staffer to Sen. Rick Santorum; John Vernon, a retired Colonel from Tioga County; and Bedford pharmacists John Kensinger.
According to Politico, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Canter scoffed at the Welch attack.
“Congrats to some consultant who made a pretty penny on a Web video no one will see,” Canter said. “Can’t wait to watch the next episode about Welch, the guy who actually voted for Obama and now pretends he is a tea partier. But Welch is only polling at 1 percent right now, so he would never warrant a Web video.”
A poll released Tuesday morning shows that Welch currently has only 1 percent of the primary vote (Rohrer leads with 25 percent).