The video: Next week, President Obama's re-election campaign will begin premiering the 17-minute documentary film The Road We've Traveled at campaign events, and a trailer was released today. (Watch it below.) The film is directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman), is narrated by Tom Hanks, and features testimonials from the likes of Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel, and Elizabeth Warren. The "slick as any commercial production" documentary highlights the accomplishments of Obama's first term, including his response to the economic crisis and the assassination of Osama bin Laden, and makes the case for why voters should trust him with another four years.
The reaction: This is "President Obama: The Movie," says Frank James at NPR. Its powerful conceit is that Obama has led the nation "on a journey away from the precipice," effectively reiterating the ancient wisdom: "Don't change horses in midstream." Audiences will see right through this, says Brandon Kiser at The Right Sphere. It's a "biased story told by a biased director, with the testimony of [Obama's] biased advisers." Oscar-winning director? Tom Hanks? "Quite the choice of one percenters, Barack," deadpans Katie Pavlich at Townhall. Like his campaign, this film is "glitzy, sleek, and sophisticated," says David A. Graham at The Atlantic. But that highlights his re-election challenge. A recital of past successes doesn't make up for present discontent over a bevy of issues. "History only gets you so far." Check out the trailer:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Ban PowerPoint!
- Rise of the machines
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
Subscribe to the Week