A new seven-minute Obama campaign video offers a robust Democratic defense of the president’s first term, putting a positive spin on his economic record and portraying Republicans as scheming to “tear the president down.”
The video “Forward” will be blasted out to Obama supporters on email and social media and featured at grassroots organizing events around the country, including the president’s first two public re-election rallies on Saturday in Ohio and Virginia, the campaign says.
Tracking closely to the Davis Guggenheim-produced documentary “The Road We’ve Traveled,” the spot opens with a refresher on the seriousness of the financial crisis in 2008.
As a red line on an employment graph sinks lower and lower to suspenseful music, dour economic headlines flash on screen — massive layoffs, home sales plummeting, foreclosures spike, Lehman Brothers goes under. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney appear briefly. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan calls the situation a “one in a century type of event.”
Cue the happy music and scenes from the 2009 inauguration. An upbeat narrator says it was Barack Obama to the rescue.
“On the day Barack Obama took office, America had already lost 4.4 million jobs – an economic disaster, the worst in a generation. Some said America’s best days were behind us. And like America, he dug deep, fought back and never lost faith in our ability to meet the challenge,” the narrator says.
The video highlights first the rescue of GM and Chrysler and touts the resurgent manufacturing sector. It credits Obama with new financial protections for consumers; Wall Street reform; health care reform (specifically, no pre-existing conditions; reduced drug costs for seniors; and contraception coverage); wind and solar energy advances; middle class tax cuts; college loan reforms; and the “don’t ask don’t tell” repeal.
“Hard work, determination, real results,” the narrator says.
Then the film pivots to a storyline Obama has spent months cultivating, that he is a warrior against a recalcitrant Congress and Republicans “waging a campaign to tear the president down.”
Flashing pictures of conservative commentator Glenn Beck, Fox News, House Speaker John Boehner, and Sen. Mitch McConnell — saying the top priority of Republicans should be to deny Obama a second term — the message is that Republicans are the party of ‘no.’ Mitt Romney is not mentioned by name, but he appears in the montage.
The final 45 seconds of the spot are a slideshow of Obama accomplishments — including the killing of Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq — meant to portray an active and successful president.
Republicans were quick to criticize the video for what it left out about the past three and a half years, including higher deficits, a climbing national debt, more than $500 million in failed loans to Solyndra, and a push for higher taxes on upper-income earners.