WASHINGTON — Sirens blare. Flames blaze. This, according to Richard Painter, is a D.C. dumpster fire.

"Some people see a dumpster fire and do nothing but watch the spectacle," said Painter, a DFLer who is challenging Sen. Tina Smith in the August primary, in a video ad that came out this week. "Some are too scared to face the danger or they think it will benefit them if they just let it keep on burning. Others shrug and say, 'Oh, all this talk of a dumpster fire? It's just fake news.'"

He added: "There is an inferno raging in Washington, but here in the land of 10,000 lakes" — a stream of water crashed down — "we know how to put out a fire."

Painter, a former ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration and a vociferous critic of President Donald Trump, doesn't explain why he's better candidate than his campaign rivals, who also call the land of 10,000 lakes home. The former Republican is now a University of Minnesota law professor challenging U.S. Sen. Tina Smith in the August 14 DFL primary.

Painter's video is drawing a lot of attention on social media, with reactions spanning praise to befuddlement:

"Greatest. Ad. Ever."


The website Hotair even wrote a mocking piece called, "Seven reasons why Richard Painter's new ad is a glorious dumpster fire."

"The cast of Spinal Tap should immediately option this ad as a concept for a feature film," wrote John Sexton on the site. "It's the story of a milquetoast college ethics professor who switches parties and tries to run for office by convincing everyone he's actually not a milquetoast professor but a hardened American badass."