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DNC cat video: ‘Um, what?’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. A video starring an orange cat is making the rounds on the Internet – not normally something to make the headlines.

But with the Democratic National Convention approaching, even cat videos aren’t immune to partisan politics.

The short video, created by interns for the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee, features the feline Fernando in front of cat-themed Charlotte landmarks such as the Bank of America Stadium and the Lynx light rail.

The logic behind the video is explained in its YouTube caption: “With just over one week from CarolinaFest 2012, the Democratic National Convention-week kick off event ... we thought it was time to release a cat video.”

Since then, it has made its way across the Internet, reaching Time magazine, The Daily Beast, Buzzfeed and more. Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski called it “comically awful,” and wrote, “there are so many things wrong with this video,” a sentiment echoed by many commenters.

The video has faced questions from both sides of the political spectrum.

Liberal Rachel Maddow of MSNBC posted a link to the video on her blog with the comment, “Um … what?”

Republican National Convention spokesman Matt Connelly said: “It shows how out of touch the Democrats and President (Barack) Obama’s party are that while millions of Americans are out of work, they are making cat videos.”

Suzi Emmerling, the nonpartisan host committee’s press secretary, said the video – which has a tagline of “We Make it Pawssible” – is part of a series interns have worked on all summer to highlight parts of Charlotte that visitors might not otherwise see.

“They’ve basically been the producers and editors,” she said. Fernando is her own cat.

Emmerling stresses that the interns had fun and took ownership of the production.

“There was an intention for there to be some substance behind it, but everybody loves a cat video,” she said.

McNeill: 704-358-5298
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