“The Road We’ve Traveled” Throws Down Campaign Gauntlet

The Obama for America produced “documentary” “The Road We’ve Traveled” is definitely not going to win over any conservative fans.  With a blockbuster directorial style, narration by Tom Hanks and a $20,300 per minute price tag, it nearly a parody of what right wing pundits would imagine liberals would create about themselves.  It’s uncomfortably self-congratulatory and back-slapping, and creates a near mythic, folklorish president that is less leader and more legend.

It’s also an extremely powerfully thrown down gauntlet to kick off the 2012 presidential race.

To swelling, orchestral tones and the calming drones of Hank’s lines, the film makes it clear from the very beginning that President Barack Obama stood alone and solitary against an inherited economic crisis, war, even the very elements of nature as the snow-laden streets of Chicago seem to imply.  Every decision, every success and most importantly, every failure, was to rest solely on his shoulders.  It might have even felt noble if you could forget that this isn’t an outside view of events but an administration and its colleagues basically discussing themselves.

The scattered snippets of former President Bill Clinton adding his insights and praise did nothing to ease the awkwardness of film, and even added to it as shots of his wife in her capacity as Secretary of State cut in and out of the narrative.

But for the majority of those who were likely to be watching it, mostly activists, supporters, donors and potential campaign volunteers, the movie likely struck all the right notes.  It was exactly 6 minutes in when the script took a shot at possible GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, accusing him of running away on the economy.  It highlighted the more every day successes of the administration so far, from bringing home troops and health care reform that will cover hundreds of thousands more Americans. But it also spoke to the more special interest sections of the Democratic party, reminding them of his support for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s repeal, the Lilly Ledbetter Act that would promote equal pay for equal work, or his appointment of two women to the Supreme Court.

In case there was any doubt that the campaign was positioning itself as a stark contrast to the GOP slate of candidates, they made it clear by reminding viewers of the return of funding for stem cell research, calling it “bringing back science,” or the lingering, loving shots of solar panels and windmills as they mention renewal energy.

As a means of communicating to the general population, frankly, “The Road We’ve Traveled” is a disaster.  It’s pompous and full of its own self-importance.  But as a message to its base, a reminder of what they can do together and how far they have come during the first three years, it was a love song meant to woo back any one who may have considered sitting this election out.


Photo from whitehouse.gov


Tracy S.
Tracy S.6 years ago

It would be amazing to see what he could have accomplished without his hand tied behing his back and the entire Repug army out to get him from DAY !!

Tiffany Miller
Tiffany Miller6 years ago

I think it's funny that everyone thinks that Obama can completely turn around all the wrongs that George W. Bush did in just four short years. Another term might show just how good of a president he can really be. I, for one, am not ready to see another republican royally screw our country in the ass...

Jean W.
Jean W6 years ago

and Mike C. You are truly, truly scary.

Jean W.
Jean W6 years ago

Paul, you and Jeffrey need to go off in a corner somewhere and plot hate messages and whatever else weird little men like you do. Your posts are purely ignorant and full of misguided hate. Talk about hyperbole....wow...you specialize it it.

Johnice R.
Johnice R6 years ago

Those who have been kind enough (coughing) to comment against POTUS 44 here and the author of this piece should enjoy your hate-lust and vitriol while you may. There is no way that the majority of voting citizens in this Nation and abroad will roll back the clock to a Rethuglican nightmare of supremacy for the wealthy and continue to create a groveling working class.

We The People shall eat cake when we have enjoyed a good days' work, for fair wages, and a great meal, and not out of a subsistence created and held by the 1%!

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

Jeffrey W.,

Go back to making porn videos.

The Republican primaries were like a very bad Marx Brothers movie.

Jeffrey W.
Jeffrey W6 years ago

Sadly, Paul, they never will understand. And their mistaken belief that they are smarter, belied by their crude and irrational posts, is all that sustains them.

Paul B.
Paul B6 years ago

Jeffrey... by a strong majority, across the nation, at every level of government. If these minority interest liberal democrats didn't get the message, they probably NEVER will understand... blinded by the Obamashine.

They just think we are ALL stupid, and they are the only intelligent ones while they bask in the glory of Obama rhetoric, ignorant of the destruction he is creating, thanks to a very complicit, bias major news media, dictated by organizations like Think Progress and Media Matters, puppets for the Center for American Progress.

BTW, how many of you realize that Mrs Hillary Clinton was the brainchild for the Center for American Progress. So to think that she is an innocent bystander needs to do a bit more research. Her and Podesta still pulling strings...

Catt R.
Catt R6 years ago

Don't get me wrong, I look forward to Robin's articles but this is BUNK..... how does a thinking human categorize the idea of equal pay for equal pay and or equal rights for all as "special interest groups" ??

This nonsense comes from the same people who claim equal rights is 'special privileges' if you are not a male WASP.

Shelby A.
Shelby A.6 years ago

With or without the video he has my vote. love the man