Rick Perry: The Movie

Screenshot from Perry 2012 campaign video Image copyright Other
Image caption The Rick Perry video uses cinematic imagery to make the case for the candidate

It could be a trailer for a movie. The earth devastated by an alien invasion, maybe, and then salvation and rescue led by an all-American hero.

In fact, it is the slickest, strongest ad so far in the 2012 election campaign. It is from Rick Perry.

In the first half President Obama's voice intones about the economy over grim, washed-out pictures of rain-drenched streets, empty rooms, boarded-up houses and peeling walls. Then news coverage of last month's jobs figures, with the spoken message "President Zero".

Then fade to black. The sound of galloping horses, a brief shot of thundering hooves, the stars and stripes, the Statue of Liberty and finally, pictures of Mr Perry.

As the music builds, a message comes across in full-screen: "An American". Another shot of Mr Perry, followed by another full screen message: "Who served America".

He talks about the need for a president who believes in America. A little boy plays with a toy fighter plane, while real ones fly over head.

How the Republicans choose to portray Mr Obama will be critical. This ad paints him as an economic failure, full of bombast and false promise.

But it also hints that part of his problem is insufficient faith in America and links Mr Perry to powerful symbols of American might. His patriotic message isn't subtle, but it is powerful.