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Yes, We Can (Obama Music Video)

Update: Reading this blog post from a website called NewTeeVee I'm a bit perplexed. I don't see their point, which is that the video is hurtful -- not helpful -- to Obama's campaign.

Yes We Can... Hurt Obama's Campaign!

Last election cycle, a politician's own ill-chosen words became a viral video that cost him his candidacy. This November, will a politician get undermined by an ill-conceived viral video made by his own supporters? That's the thought I had after watching "Yes We Can", a new YouTube video currently storming The Viral Video chart. It's a putative tribute to Senator Barack Obama's stirring words after the New Hampshire primary, directed by Jesse Dylan with music by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas. (Who's better known for his stirring words, "Whatcha gonna do with all that junk ... inside your trunk?")

When I watch the video I see Obama supporters who, inspired by Barack's message of hope, are celebrating the fact that through Obama they feel they can make a difference.

The video was made without the Obama campaign's participation or permission, according to ABC News, which is a good thing, because it's an appalling exercise in celebrity self-congratulation, reducing the Senator's soaring plea for optimistic unity into an opportunity for some popstars to preen in front of the camera. (While Obama's image is shunted aside, an unidentified brunette hottie actually flips her hair; Scarlett Johansson giggles. It's like Obama Girl without irony.)

Here at NewTeeVee, we like to keep things non-partisan, but whatever your personal inclinations this election, it's easy to see how this clip's growing popularity can't be good for the Obama campaign: after spending months fighting the criticism that their candidate has great rhetoric but little experience, here comes a viral video that seems specifically designed to derail their efforts. And unlike Obama Girl, "Yes We Can" is so highly polished, any protests that it's not actually part of their campaign will fall on deaf ears. I can already picture Fox News commentators deceptively using it to dismiss the Senator as "an MTV candidate". ("Nice beat," as blog star and Clinton supporter Jeff Jarvis puts it. "But can you lead to it?")

Jarvis' dig is hardly a slam, and as to the author's claim that the video is"specifically designed to derail that effort?" I just don't get it. Maybe they'd prefer that it was "Yes, He Can" instead of "Yes, We Can" -- but the "We" is the whole point... and that "We" includes the Obama supporters in the music video.

---Original post begins here---

Yes, We Can (Obama Music Video)
Published: Feb 4, 08 01:45 PM

I just came across this video featuring will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas. I don't know the history or background behind the video, but it's all over the Internet this afternoon.

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Comments (1)


With and all the between-takes and "candid" shots, it reminds me of a Merck or Pfizer ad campaign aimed at young folks. Living large with Herpes, or something.

Also, the video creator is stepping on Obama's blue suede shoes by demystifying the speech's African-American rhythmic ju ju and revealing that Obama's only talking a pop song in his head. A latter-day Sam Cooke or Harold Melvin tune or something.

Kunte Kinte-> Crispus Attucks-> Elvis-> Obama



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