Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama

Miss that video that introduced Barack Obama to 84,000 spectators and tens of millions of viewers? Helmed by Davis Guggenheim, who won an Academy Award for producing An Inconvenient Truth, which he also directed, the 10-minute film chronicles Obama’s story from his ancestors to his dreams for the future.

The crowd at Mile High was hushed as the video played on giant screens either side of the podium and arrayed on the upper decks of the football stadium. Although Obama explicitly compared himself to Jack Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt, the video introduction invites comparison to Bill Clinton, who famously debuted in his 1992 acceptance speech after screening “The Man from Hope.” That video tribute cemented a flattering nickname and, by portraying Clinton’s humble beginnings and early, difficult years, connected the Rhodes scholar and Ivy League graduate with a broad, struggling middle class. Obama’s tribute depicts a politician who has more in common with regular Americans than the caricature propagated by opponents and could work equally to persuade Americans he understands their deepest concerns.

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Ernest Luning

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