Mark Willliams, a conservative radio host and voice of the rabidly anti-Obama group, Our Country Deserves Better, was hoping for a calm and effective rollout of his organization's new political advertisement on Wednesday.
At the East Room of the National Press Club in Washington D.C., a group of like-minded supporters and somewhat inquisitive reporters had gathered to witness what was billed as mocking take on "Obama's naiveté on foreign policy issues."
Instead, things descended quickly into chaos and the absurd.
After airing a litany of way-out-there Obama smears -- the Senator had "mocked" Joe the Plumber, was "lip-locked with terrorists," and wants an America that looks "like Venezuela under Hugo Chavez" -- the proceedings were interrupted by a peeved audience member.
"This isn't fair," said Louana, a woman from Maryland who, as an Obama supporter, had wandered into the poorly lit room to see the spectacle. "Is anything you are saying based on fact?"
Williams announced that the time to take questions had arrived because "this woman here" - he points to Louana - "is having a stroke."
The childish ridicule of a protester was just one of many bizarre, hilarious and downright disturbing twists and turns of the morning. The world where Our Country Deserves Better operates is, indeed, almost unrecognizable to the casual political observer and even many conservative pundits.
It is a world in which Williams said he did not want to put on his "tin foil hat" before saying he would offer "even money" that Obama was not born in the United States.
A world in which Obama deliberately ducked out of military service during the first Gulf War -- "He chose to go to the University of Phoenix and write books about himself," said Deborah Johns, another speaker -- and Iraq definitely did have weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 U.S. invasion. "What was the UN taking out when they were ousted by Saddam?" asked Williams.
A world where Obama calls voters who don't support him racists and instructs corporations to pull advertisements from critical news channels.
It is a world of grand contradictions; where Obama is far too weak to stand up to adversarial foreign leaders but has the unlimited power to send "storm troopers" to stifle the press. Where the Senator stands, by Williams' own admission, on the cusp of the presidency, but would be hired as a mid-level manager by most businesses. Where the group ACORN, holding an event just a few doors down, was hosting a "'Woe is Us' press conference," even though much of the Our Country Deserves Better event was spent bemoaning the treatment they've received by the press.
It is also a world in which some of the most emotionally tinged anti-Obama fervor in the country bubbles to the surface. Two successive speakers at the event nearly broke down in tears when discussing the Democratic nominee's ascension to the White House. Supporters were keen on shouting out wild, racially charged, accusations like "Obama belongs to a racist church that hates me because I'm white."
And at one point during the proceedings, Williams called a woman to the lectern, telling the crowd that his group had conducted a national survey to find individuals more qualified than Obama for the White House. Anne Franklin, a former Hillary Clinton supporter from Fort Worth, Texas, subsequently told the crowd that she had never really paid attention to politics before this campaign.
It was all too much for that Obama supporter from Maryland to take. As Williams declared that an Obama administration would deliberately prevent him from writing, expressing his opinions, or even having a job, Louana cried out: "You people watch too much Fox News."
Organizers promised her a civil discussion of her objections, only to label her a "mind-numb robot" moments later. Eventually she was asked to leave the room, with Williams calling out behind her, "there goes the old woman."
A German public television station that was covering the affair soon decided that it too had had enough. The cameraman, whose lighting had illuminated the table where all the speakers sat, began taking down his equipment with roughly ten minutes to spare. Williams and company were forced to conclude in shadows.
In the end, the dramatics, hysteria and over-the-top contempt for Obama did exactly what Our Country Deserves Better had hoped it wouldn't: distract attention from its new television ad. Because, in the context of political spots, it was a good one -- though not without that a tinge of outrageousness that marred all of the morning's proceedings.
With actors taking on the role of the world's worst dictators, the ad takes place at a "League of Rogue Nations" meeting. The phone rings and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad answers.
"Hello," he says, pausing and smiling. "Obama wants to meet."
The group is overjoyed.
"No preconditions," says a character appearing to be one of the Castro bothers. He flashes a thumbs-up.