Cheese Wiz

Barack Obama’s new spot “Moment” looks more like a theatrical trailer than a political ad. The footage comes from Obama’s widely praised speech at last month’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa. As we hear him make promises about bridging the gap between red and blue, raves flash on screen, a little too dramatically:

“Scrupulous honesty.”
Joe Klein, Time Magazine, 11/12/07

“Vision” to lead the nation
Concord Monitor, 10/11/07

“Across the Divide.”
Newsweek, 7/16/07

That last one barely makes sense. Likewise, the words coming out of his mouth are pure boilerplate, riffing on “the same old Washington textbook campaigns” and “re-fighting the same fights that we had in the 1990s.” It might be the sappiest Obama ad yet. But it works. The soaring orchestra fits the soaring rhetoric, the teary eyes are real, and anyone who has seen Obama speak will recognize the crowd’s roar. I practically expected it to climax into a slow clap . I feel the same way I did after watching the trailer for I Am Legend : That was really cheesy and really manipulative, but nothing can stop me from seeing that movie. Two thumbs up.