The Road We Traveled: Obama’s campaign documentary and/or ad

Last night, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign released an 17-minute documentary The Road We Traveled from Davis Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth and, more recently, a film about public education.

Narrated by Tom Hanks, the film is somewhat weird: it wavers between presenting objective facts and sounding like a campaign ad. It includes interviews with members of his administration and others, such as Bill Clinton, to make the case for his reelection, even though it really never says that directly. (If you don’t want to watch the full film, below, there’s also a two-minute condensed trailer.)

Of course, it is a campaign ad, and ultimately a rather effective argument for Obama’s policies and actions. That said, it seems to me like this isn’t even targeted toward conservatives or others who were unlikely to vote for him in the first place; instead, it seems mostly designed to remind his supporters, and possibly independents, of his presidency’s challenges (the economy, health care) and accomplishments (health care, two Supreme Court justices, auto industry, Osama bin Laden).

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