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Previewing Tonight’s Infomercial

Team Obama gave the New York Times a one-minute preview:

The trailer is heavy in strings, flags, presidential imagery and some Americana filmed by Davis Guggenheim, whose father was the campaign documentarian of Robert F. Kennedy. As the screen flashes scenes of suburban lawns, a freight train and Mr. Obama seated at a kitchen table with a group of white, apparently working-class voters, Mr. Obama says: “We’ve seen over the last eight years how decisions by a president can have a profound effect on the course of history and on American lives; much that’s wrong with our country goes back even farther than that.”

Then, while standing before a stately desk and an American flag, Mr. Obama, in a suit, says: “We’ve been talking about the same problems for decades and nothing is ever done to solve them. For the past 20 months, I’ve traveled the length of this country, and Michelle and I have met so many Americans who are looking for real and lasting change that makes a difference in their lives.”

Jim Margolis, Mr. Obama’s senior advertising strategist, said the program would then go on to feature “the stories of four different Americans, or American families, and kind of what they’re confronting.”

He said the stories would highlight “the challenges people are facing and what we should do in terms of solutions.” He said Mr. Obama would also share the story of his mother, “who struggled through her bout with breast cancer and the difficulty she had with her insurance company, to help viewers understand why his health care reform program is what it is.”

It will also have a live component, featuring Mr. Obama at a rally in Florida. The infomercial has been under production for weeks in the Virginia office of Mark Putnam, whose firm, Murphy-Putnam, is part of the Obama advertising team.

I wonder if this is going to miss the mark. I was watching Ed Rendell last night on Rachel Maddow’s show and he was saying that on his travels through Pennsylvania, he still hearing things like, “Obama is going to raise my taxes.” If voters haven’t bought in yet to Obama’s spiel, I’m not sure another slick Pixar-style presentation from “The One” is going to sell it.

Also, note this old post of mine from July on Obama’s trip to Montana. It looks like the staged footage of Obama’s daughter’s birthday party will finally get aired:

But why was he in Butte anyway? Going back a few day in NY Times coverage of the campaign explains it:

While Mr. Obama believes he can take a run at a Democratic victory in Montana, there was far more on his itinerary here than simply meeting voters. He also spent time on a makeshift movie set — a political filming — to be shown at the Democratic convention in Denver.

Davis Guggenheim, the Academy Award-winning director of “An Inconvenient Truth,” was on hand in Butte with a large crew to film Mr. Obama. The piece is intended to tell the story of Mr. Obama’s life, as well as how Democrats believe they can win in the West.

The filming, which was not announced by the campaign, took place throughout the day on Friday at the Freedom Fest Independence Day celebration, followed by a picnic for about 1,000 people outside the World Mining Museum.

Additional filming with Mr. Obama took place at the Clark Chateau Museum, a mansion from the glory days of Butte, once known as the “Richest Hill on Earth” because of a lucrative mining industry.

Mr. Guggenheim, who was here with his own young son, is the son of Charles Guggenheim, a four-time Academy Award winner who chronicled President John F. Kennedy.

It was by choice that Senator Obama was in Butte on his daughter’s birthday and it was a purely political trip to provide a spectacular backdrop for his convention campaign video, as well as a backdrop for the debut of the Obama-kids on Access Hollywood. Yes, campaigns are hard on the families, but let’s call it what it is when a candidate decides to put politics first and then complains about the fallout on how it’s a burden on his personal life.


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