Obama campaign makes election pitch with Hollywood-style film

CHICAGO Thu Mar 8, 2012 6:24pm EST

1 of 2. U.S. President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn as he returns from a day trip to North Carolina, at the White House in Washington, March 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's campaign is putting a cinematic finish on its re-election pitch with a new documentary about the Democratic president's first three years in the White House.

The campaign released a trailer of the 17-minute film, "Road We've Traveled," on Thursday that featured dramatic music, cinematic-style video, and interviews with top Obama advisers.

Obama, whose ties to Hollywood have helped him raise funds, tapped Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim to direct the film and Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks to provide narration.

Guggenheim's 2006 documentary about former Vice President Al Gore's fight against climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Academy Award for best documentary feature.

The new Obama film will have its premiere at Obama campaign offices across the country on March 15.

"The film is an opportunity to put into perspective the challenges the country faced when President Obama took office, the tough decisions he made in the face of those challenges and the progress we've made in rebuilding an economy that's meant to last and strengthening and securing our nation," the campaign said in a statement.

Obama's campaign has sought to highlight the president's accomplishments in the face of attacks from Republican rivals and an improving but still rough economy. Obama will face the Republican nominee in the November 6 election.

The documentary includes appearances by Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama, former White House adviser David Axelrod, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the president's first White House chief of staff.

In one of the more dramatic moments shown in the trailer, Biden describes Obama's decision to send U.S. forces into the compound that housed Osama bin Laden. The al Qaeda leader was killed in the raid.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said, "The American people don't need a movie trailer or a 17-minute documentary to know what the president accomplished over the past three years."

"Unfortunately Americans feel Obama's accomplishments each and every day after President Obama led our country to higher unemployment, record debt, and higher gas prices," she said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, when asked if Obama's message needed Hollywood's help, demurred.

"Are you suggesting that I'm no Tom Hanks?" he quipped, to laughter from reporters.

"We ... take advantage of every opportunity we can to explain the president's policies, explain his positions, describe his vision for the country moving forward."

Obama has used the documentary format to make his case before. In 2008, the campaign ran a 30-minute advertisement in October, not long before his November election win.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Comments (2)
TomMariner wrote:
The Republicans are unorganized amateurs — The President commands every form of media and is taking advantage of every bit of the adoration coming from that direction. I’m guessing the film’s working title is “It’s Bush’s fault”, but it will influence significant votes.

As long as we keep the pitch away from who would do the best job in the Oval Office and running the 4,000,000 person Administration, the President is guaranteed another four years. By a month, the Republicans will have not only spent all their money, but alienated every group in the country by pandering to their opposite. The Republicans will be painted as anti-women, anti-gay, racist, anti-health in catering to “their base”.

My bet is that after they get through with the take-no-prisoners internal campaign to repeat the Christine O’Donnell debacle of an unelectable getting the nod because the candidate promises to go hard, hard conservative, the result will be the same as the 2010 Senate race.

Many of the “conservative” leading radio talk hosts are even realizing that nothing happens but talk unless you can get elected and mouthing they will support “whoever” the nominee is.

So slick, insanely expensive, (but free to the campaign) videos from the best movie production industry on the planet will make whatever the Republicans do irrelevant. They will writing about the slickest, best run, most expensive campaign in history for years — even if the Republican amateurs decide not to show up in Tampa. After the media fanatical adoration, I would not be surprised if Lincoln’s seated statue in the Lincoln Memorial is replaced by the current President — or wait, better — how about standing behind Lincoln with a calming, guiding hand on his shoulder. Uh oh, am I giving away the ending of the “it’s not my fault” film?

Mar 10, 2012 11:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
oldpatriot wrote:
Repub. candidates a sorry bunch. Romney most likely against Obama.
Questionable he can beat Obama. Either way, Romney or Obama,
America is in TROUBLE! However, given Obama’s Islamic ties & socialist
interests,(Read: His book/ Details of Health Bill/ See: Interviews,
etc.) I believe Romney is LESSER of two EVILS!!!

Mar 10, 2012 4:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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