It made us laugh that Obama’s 30-minute television spot began with the required “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message” recording. The next 30 minutes were so sumptuous and flattering that if you fast-forwarded the whole thing to maximum speed, we wouldn’t be surprised if you just heard the Democratic candidate slowly say, “I APPROVE OF MYSELF.” The ad, crafted by Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim, combined lovely visions of Americana (Farm fields! Peewee football! Cafeteria ladies! Overweight men posing with cars! Shriners! Trains!!) with stories of the harsh reality of the economic crisis. Interspersed with personal stories told by suffering middle-class Americans were testimonials by prominent Democratic leaders. Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Virginia governor Tim Kaine, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and senators Dick Durbin and Claire McCaskill alternately praised his skill and touted his middle-American credentials. Retired Brigadier Generals spoke about Obama’s commitment to the military.
By the time Obama was saying, “I am reminded every single day I am not a perfect man,” it was almost hard to believe him. But if you were caught up in the guitar chords and swelling tones, you probably were right where he wanted you when he switched settings from the pre-recorded portion in his wood-paneled mock Oval Office (seriously, wasn’t that a little George Bushy?) to the boisterous Florida rally where he finished the presentation, live. All in all, if you’re the kind of voter who enjoys the feeling of a candidate speaking patiently and directly to you, this ad may have pulled you over to the Obama camp. The portions where he spoke about his family were certainly touching and human. But if you are the kind of voter who is worried Obama’s been a little bit presumptuous of late, we kind of doubt this changed your mind.
Here’s the video: