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Keller @ Large: Obama Campaign Trailer Trying To Re-Energize Eroding Base

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WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is getting ready to release a new documentary-style video on the president’s first term.

The 17-minute film will be out next week. Democrats hope this will rekindle fond memories of the president’s first campaign.

Like any political infomercial, it’s an effort to frame the Obama story and the campaign in the most favorable light possible.

And while the usual self-serving spin is very much in evidence, the video is just the latest example of how targeted political campaigning has become.

The video tries to elevate nostalgia for its roots over the often-disappointing results.

In a bit of revisionist history, the movie ignores candidate Obama’s inclusion in 2008 economic crisis briefings and pretends it came as a post-inaugural shock.

There’s even a cameo from Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, who insisted the auto-industry bailout saved the entire Midwest from economic disaster.

Watch the trailer:

“He saved the auto industry. He saved the whole Midwest. I mean, we would have had just the two coasts and a big hole in the middle,” said Boston University professor John Carroll, an expert on political advertising. “I don’t think it’s effective political persuasion. I think what it is is a way to kick-start some media coverage.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Rod Fritz reports

“Mostly it’s a way to try to get people back into interacting with Obama,” Carroll continued. “What they had was very much a movement back in 2008. They had an enthusiasm. They had an energy behind them and they had a sense of togetherness, of community. I don’t think that’s there so much anymore, so I think part of what this is is to remind people of what it was about him that felt so special back then.”

As Prof. Carroll put it, this infomercial isn’t about persuading presidential critics or even neutral voters to rally behind him.

It’s aimed at the parts of his base that have eroded, in the hope that they’ll share it with others, and collectively become true believers once again.

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