February 2, 2008
YouTube is doing something to us. I'm not endorsing any candidate, but I've got to say this production is some amazing, low-key brilliance. It's lovely in so many ways, one of which is that it makes Barack Obama seem to be a man whose mere speech is singing.
ADDED: I've rewatched this video and am just stunned by it — especially the way will.i.am sings along with Obama's speechifying. I've never seen speech and singing combined like that. It's very cool. I love the way it is so grand, yet simultaneously seems perfectly casual and offhanded. And they've packed a tremendous amount of feminine beauty into it without it seeming forced — like Scarlett Johannson just happened to drop by and some unplanned thing made her smile like that.
Some folks in the comments are saying "yes we can... what?" And this, of course, is the usual criticism of Obama, which is not undeserved. But the video doesn't try to do everything. It creates a mood and reaches us emotionally. Now, the most evil political movement in the world could operate that way too, so it's our responsibility to put some analysis into our choices. But that doesn't take anything away from this historically great video.
By the way, I heard a bit of a Hillary rally today on the car radio. She seemed to be rousing the crowd rather well, talking about health care for everyone, to be achieved by fighting the drug companies and insurance companies. (Why must they be fought?) Then the crowd began chanting. The chant: "Yes we can."