GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain is having a rocky week answering questions about sexual harassment allegations made against him in the '90s, but the controversial video featuring his campaign manager looking defiantly into the camera while taking a drag off his cigarette has helped him break onto the viral video chart. It came in in sixth place with nearly a million views but has been viewed more than 2.4 million times since being released on YouTube, according to Visible Measures.
The question is whether the performance of that video is good or bad for Mr. Herman. It also got us wondering where the Republican field stands in terms of owning YouTube's tubes, which proved so friendly to President Obama in 2008.
Among the spots released by Mr. Cain's Republican challengers to date, Rick Perry's "Proven Leadership" is the only one that comes close with 2.1 million views. Resembling a movie trailer in style and tone with its narrative arc and fast-paced editing, it's the work of campaign video wunderkind Lucas Baiano. The first half takes aim at President Obama, with his voice projected over images of stormy skies and boarded-up homes, while the second is shot in bold color with footage of Mr. Perry interspersed with shots of American flags and the Statue of Liberty, set to a triumphal score.
Ron Paul takes third and fourth place among the Republican candidates with "Campaign Conviction" (740,000 views) and "The One Who Can Beat Obama" (560,000 views), respectively, both shot in the style of a movie trailer with dramatic voiceover. Both take aim at the conservative credentials of the Republican leadership, including John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
In fifth place with 450,000 views is Michele Bachmann's announcement of her presidential run.
The presumptive favorite Mitt Romney doesn't break into the top five. His best-performing video effort, "Bump in the Road," is a slickly edited attack on President Obama, zeroing in on his assertion that there are "bumps in the road" to economic recovery by panning between unemployed people declaring, "I'm not a bump in the road."