Barack Obama Campaign Musical

This video, set to the music of Les Miserable, is pretty awesome regardless of who you'll vote for.

As great as it is, though, will it really help the Obama campaign? I mean, I appreciate a good sense of humor and inspiring rally cries set to Napoleonic-era musicals as much as the next guy.

But the Obama campaign right now reminds me of those Apple computer commercials with Justin Long and John Hodgman. They're funny and creative enough, but they ultimately appear directed at an already-established market: young, progressive-types.

Slate's Seth Stevenson discussed this approach during his review of those Apple commercials. The Obama campaign is hedging their bets with the notoriously absent youth demographic. It's a dangerous gamble, but videos like this seem intent on keeping that base excited in the face of falling poll numbers.

This isn't the only approach, of course. As far as I can tell, Barack Obama has been more vocal in preaching policy than John McCain since Sarah Palin's nomination. I'm curious as to whether these sorts of videos might undermine his more serious efforts. Obama's campaign has been built on grassroots and youthful energy, but at some point more reliable voters need to be courted.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Jordan,

    I don't think we can look at this video and question Obama's strategy. I don't think this video was conceived at the upper echelons of the Obama campaign. In fact, it seems to be the creation of the folks at Ultimate Improv.

    But what if it was a creation of the Obama campaign - or at least campaign staffers? If students, labor, women, and minorities are the base of the Democratic party, the best time (strategically) to keep them excited is when their candidate is slipping in the polls. You don't want those guys to stay home.

    Videos like this one remind young voters - and older voters interested in French Revolutionary History and/or the music of Claude-Michel Schonberg - just what is at stake in this election: the end of the royalists, and the rise of the republicans.