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Obama's 'glitzy' 17-minute campaign documentary: Will it work?
The president enlists an Oscar-winning documentarian and Tom Hanks for a short film highlighting the successes of his first term — and making the case for a second
A still from President Obama's 17-minute documentary film, "The Road We've Traveled."
A still from President Obama's 17-minute documentary film, "The Road We've Traveled."
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he 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:

 

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