Obama Documentary Puts Spin on First Term

Mar 8, 2012 9:24am
gty barack obama jp 120308 wblog Obama Documentary Puts Spin on First Term

Pete Souza / White House / Getty Images

The Obama campaign will roll out a 17-minute documentary of the president’s first term in office aimed at softening widespread economic frustration with a hefty dose of context about how bad things were four years ago.

The film, dubbed “The Road We’ve Traveled,” begins airing at Obama for America field offices across the country next Thursday. A trailer released this morning can be viewed HERE.

Actor Tom Hanks narrates over a dramatic musical soundtrack, subtly nudging viewers to give their assessment of the Obama presidency a second look.

“How do we understand this president and his time in office?” he says. “Do we look at the day’s headlines, or do we remember what we, as a country, have been through?”

Testimonials from a cast of current and former administration officials paint a picture of “determination and progress” since 2009, punctuated by “bold action” from Obama on the economy, health insurance overhaul, auto industry bailout and the mission to get Osama bin Laden.

“The economic crisis was beyond anything anyone had imagined,” senior adviser David Axelrod says over a bed of dramatic, suspenseful music. Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel reflects the enormity of the situation: “Where do you start?” he recalls thinking in early 2009.

Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee, and special adviser to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Elizabeth Warren also appear in the film.

“It’s going to put into perspective the enormous challenges that the nation faced when the president took office and the strides we’ve made together,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters Wednesday.

Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim directed the film.  His work includes “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman.” Guggenheim also produced a short video biography of then-Sen. Obama for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

The Republican National Committee said the film won’t be able to entirely change public perceptions of Obama’s presidency given the state of the economy.

“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,” said RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. “The question is what does another Obama term mean for America?”

This post has been updated from an earlier version.

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