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The Road We’ve Traveled has made its way to YouTube.
Barack Obama won an historic election victory in 2008 thanks in no small part to his campaign’s groundbreaking efforts in social media, and while the work continued a bit once he took office (such as the occassional Twitterer-in-chief) his re-election campaign is ramping up the viral efforts once again.
Team Obama unveiled its short campaign documentary online Thursday night, tweeting out links and holding group screenings of the film. Directed by Oscar-winner An Inconvenient Truth helmer Davis Guggeinheim (who raised a few eyebrows with his comments to Piers Morgan last week) and narrated by Tom Hanks, the film jumps right into a very clear message: before you pick apart the President’s record, just remember how bad things could have been.
Beginning with the financial collapse of fall, 2008, and the President-elect’s summoning of worldwide economic leaders, it is an uncomfortable trip back to the precipice of fiscal chaos that had every American afraid of the future. Obama adviser David Axelrod actually speaks the obvious allegory, calling it a “horror movie,” and more talking head shots of the President’s advisers recalling the scary times are juxtaposed against the hopeful banner-waving of that victorious November night in Chicago’s Hyde Park.
Mixing speeches and narration, and then moving on to the various pitched battles against a Republican Party determined to scuttle his plans for Health Reform and other big, progressive accomplishments, the film casts Obama as an outsider fighting against the inefficiencies of a broken system he had hoped to mend.
In all, the film certainly spotlights the major accomplishments of his administration, which the campaign posits are sometimes easy to forget amidst all the political and economic struggle of the past three and a half years. Will it work? The Obama team has already used the web for organizing volunteers, taking in record amounts of small donations and spreading their message with easy-to-use online tools, and this should aid in that effort; whether it makes any converts or not remains to be seen.
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