Fighting the Election Without Bigelow


A few days ago, President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign released the ad above, “One Chance”. It has former President Bill Clinton praising Obama’s high-gamble decision to have Navy SEALs attack what really turned out to be Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. One of the highlights of Obama’s first term has now been used by his campaign as a vote-grabbing device – and not in a particularly pretty fashion. It’s one thing to have Clinton praise the operation. There’s some drama in it; he was after all the husband of Obama’s toughest opponent in the 2008 race and their relationship is still somewhat awkward according to a new book by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, “The Presidents Club”.

It’s another thing altogether to go after Mitt Romney in the same ad. Obama’s people could have chosen to start the campaign in a positive fashion, but instead the ad deteriorates into an attack on the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney. His previous criticism of Obama is raised in a relatively speaking “fair” sense… but asking the question “which path would Mitt Romney have taken?” is hypothetical to a ridiculous degree. You could have asked the same thing about then-Senator Obama in 2008. Now, come on. You can do better than this.

As for that bin Laden movie that Kathryn Bigelow is shooting, the director is currently (to the best of my knowledge) in Chandigarh, India where she has recreated Lahore and Abbottabad. The movie is currently called Zero Dark Thirty, features a script by The Hurt Locker (2009) writer Mark Boal and a cast consisting of Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong and others. There was some controversy earlier this year surrounding the filmmakers’ access to classified material, indicating an improper relationship with the Obama administration. Still, this film is not meant to be a propaganda tool; its premier date is set in mid-December, more than a month after the election. 

I guess that’s why an ad like “One Chance” is needed.

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