Most of you have probably seen it, but it's worth watching again:
President Barack Obama:Initial reviews from the political class are excellent, but the real reviews will be by the American people. And I think they will be positive in November.
Over the next four months, you have a choice to make. Not just between two political parties, or even two people, it's a choice between two very different plans for our country.
Governor Romney’s plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top. Roll back regulations on big banks. And he says that if we do, our economy will grow and everyone will benefit.
But you know what? We tried that top down approach. It’s what caused the mess in the first place.
I believe the only way to create an economy built to last is to strengthen the middle class, asking the wealthy to pay a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way. So we can afford to invest in education, manufacturing, and home grown American energy for good middle class jobs.
Sometimes politics can seem very small, but the choice you face, it couldn't be bigger.
["FORWARD" on screen]
I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.
John Heilemann [of New York magazine] called it a "seminal ad."The Hill: Morning Joe raves over Obama's new TV ad
"I think it's going to be an ad that you're going to look back on as having been an important ad in the course of the whole election."
Scarborough throws in his usual anti-Bain/class warfare shit, but does say:
But you know what does work? Barack Obama being Barack Obama."Meanwhile, the reporter at the Hill says:
which I think is, by far, Obama's most effective ad of the cycle. It's sort of like a Fireside Chat but with no FDR or looming world war.The Hill: Morning Joe raves over Obama's new TV ad
And Mark Halperin says:
There will be other TV spots between now and November, of course, but this Obama TV commercial is seminal in so many ways.The Page
The title “The Choice” is the whole message of the re-elect — although the word “forward” appears alone on the screen at the end of the ad for good measure.
It is filled with buzz phrases such as “pay down our debt in a balanced way” and “home-grown American energy.”
Much of the spot is the President speaking direct to camera, something that Romney’s admakers have not done to date with their man.
Unlike a lot of negative ads that campaigns euphemistically call “comparative,” this one really is. It is one candidate comparing his plan to another, with no scary music (although there IS music) and unflattering images of Mitt Romney.
This is a good ad.
Why is it so good? Business Insider explains the reason:
The ad has been well-received by political commentators, many of whom have heralded the campaign's shift away from negative messaging and praised the new TV spot for highlighting the campaign's best asset: The candidate himself.Business Insider: Here's Why People Are Saying Obama's New Campaign Ad Is His Best Ever
Steve Benen at Maddow Blog asks if Romney could do a similar ad:
As a rule, it's tough to capture the larger themes of a historic presidential election in less than a minute—unless you're prepared to speak very quickly—but this ad does it extremely well. Want to know Obama's 2012 message in a nutshell? Here it is, in one 60-second package.Maddow Blog
But it's the whole talk-directly-to-the-camera thing that probably stands out most. The underlying strategy, I suspect, is that the president's re-election team believes Obama is still personally popular and likable, and having him communicate this way is intended to help reinforce a larger connection. My strong hunch is that Mitt Romney, who's less likable, more awkward, and harder to relate to on a personal level, wouldn't run an ad like this—and if he did, the spot would be far less effective.
Can you imagine Mitt Romney doing such an ad? I can't either.
In the end, elections are choices and Obama is a better candidate than Romney. It will matter.