The 2008 election was clearly the moving-image event of the year, according to a survey of critics, authors, filmmakers, programmers, and others, published in the Museum's website Moving Image Source. From the joy and exhilaration many felt on election night to the surreal comedy (for many) of Sarah Palin and/or Tina Fey, the campaign season was long, unforgettable, and defined by many memorable TV moments. Sam Adams, Mark Asch, Tom Charity, Scott Foundas, Ed Halter, Mark Harris, Joshua Land, Jonathan Lethem, Karina Longworth, Troy Patterson, and David Schwartz, all weigh in on their favorite moments from the election. Ed Halter found this brilliantly edited video, which somehow envisions the election as an episode of The Golden Girls.
Media analyst Evan Tracey has created an original playlist for The Living Room Candidate, with his selection of the most effective ads for Obama and McCain. He also looks at what he calls Obama's "Geico Message Strategy," with ads that offered tremendous variety but a single underlying message.
The independent group OurCountry PAC, which made several anti-Obama ads during the campaign that invoked his ties to William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and Kwame Kilpatrick, has released a post-election ad to thank Sarah Palin for her "passionate, hopeful, and articulate advocacy of common-sense Conservative values."
Independent ad: "Thank You Sarah Palin!"
Meanwhile, Governor Palin has remained in the media spotlight following the election. This interview, with Palin seemingly oblivious to the slaughtering of turkeys behind her, quickly became a Thanksgiving-time Web video hit.
Democratic challenger Jim Martin is using Barack Obama in an ad for his runoff election against incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. Chambliss is attacked for being out of touch with economic concerns, and for not supporting Obama's middle-class tax cut. The ad acknowledges the strength of support for Obama in what had been considered a reliably "red" state.
Jim Martin ad "Recession:"
Independent and citizen-created video about the election were the most-viewed online videos in the 2008 election. Ari Melber writes about the phenomenon in this article from The Nation, "YouTubing the Election."In this video, seen by more than two million people, John McCain and the Republican Convention are taken over by big-screen images of Barack Obama.
The 2008 election is history. On the morning after the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, President George W. Bush made these remarks at the White House, acknowledging the coming transfer of power.
The New York Times reports that spending by independent groups on TV ads for this year's presidential election should total about $400 million.
The Campaign Finance Institute, a Washington research group that analyzes campaign finance data, has studied all the outside money poured into the Presidential race along with the House and Senate races, and where that money came from. They found a few interesting trends: More than $180 million will have been spent by so-called “527 groups,” which are named for the section of the Internal Revenue Service code that regulates them. Most of this money was spent by groups that support Democrats. While this is a large sum, it is far less than the $338 million spent by 527 groups in the 2004 race. Part of the drop-off in 527 spending is due to the fact that both Presidential candidates discouraged their donors from giving to these groups. The biggest 527 activity this year came from unions like AFSCME and the SEIU. In all, since the presidential race began in January 2007, Democratic-supporting 527 groups spent $133 million, while Republican ones spent $49 million, according to the Institute.
NBA Portland Trailblazer Greg Oden reminds voters that he was an Ohio State basketball star in this Buckeye-state-targeted Web ad for Obama.
Greg Oden Vote for Change Web ad for Obama:
The Pennsylvania Republican Party has released two minute-long TV ads reprising some old attack lines against Obama, in a last-minute attempt to help McCain win the Democratic-leaning state. One ad brings back Obama's "bitter, clinging" quote as an attack on small-town values, the other uses doctored photographs to imagine Obama meeting with dangerous world leaders.
Republican GOP ad "The Real Obama--Bitter:"
Pennslyvania GOP ad "The Real Obama--Polaroid"
The 527 group Let Freedom Ring uses conservative columnist Frank Gaffney to launch a traditional attacks against the Democratic candidate. The claim that the Democrat would cut military spending and therefore convey weakness has been a staple of Republican advertising since the campaign against McGovern in 1972.
Let Freedom Ring ad "Frank Gaffney on Obama:"
1972 Nixon ad "McGovern Defense:"
Mark Halperin reports in The Page that two independent groups have released ads attacking Obama on abortion, calling his position pro-infanticide. One ad, running in Virginia, says "the culture of death has a friend in Barack Obama." The ads may be seen by clicking on the link above.
Comedian Chris Rock offers a straightforward instructional video for Virginia voters for Obama.
Matthew Broderick pushes a suggestion from the Obama campaign, suggesting that supporters take Election Day off from school or work to volunteer for the candidate:
James Fallows argues in The Atlantic that John McCain's self-deprecating appearance on Saturday Night Livethree days before the election indicates that he has, on some level, accepted the idea that he is probably going to lose:
For a candidate coming from behind, every second of the final week of the campaign is like a second in cardiac-surgery operating theater, with absolutely no room for fooling around or wasting time, money, or effort that could be used to sway that last crucial vote. (Think: the last days of Gore-Bush in 2000.)
For a candidate who thinks he's ahead, and might actually become president, inevitably there's a tone of new seriousness right at the end: What we've been working for years is within our grasp, let's not screw this up, and let's be sobered by how different the world is going to look in a few days.
John McCain on Saturday Night Live
UPDATE: Leslie Savan shares a similar view in her latest column for The Nation:
"Like Al Gore's famous hot tub appearance on SNL, which tipped us off to his decision not to run in 2004, McCain's que cera performance (evident elsewhere on the trail in these last few days) was almost an admission that he knew he was about to lose, padded out with every imaginable electoral excuse. Standing next to Fey's Palin, he presented a cheerier, more ironic version of the victimhood he's been pulsing with for months. "Barack Obama purchased airtime on three major networks," he said. "We, however, can only afford QVC." He went on to hawk kitsch like Joe the Plumber action figures, pork-cutting knives, and the "10 commemorative plates that celebrate the 10 townhall debates between Senator Obama and myself. They're blank, he wouldn't agree to those debates."
This Web video with Rapper Jay-Z was taped during a campaign rally in Richmond, Virginia, and was made to inspire young voters in that battleground state.
Web video for Virginia: Jay-Z for Barack:"
The day before the election, the Obama campaign released an inspirational Web ad with the candidate saying "Our moment is now. This is our moment, this is our time to unite in common purpose...Let's go change the world."
Obama Web ad: "One Day to Change the World:"
The Obama campaign also released a three-minute closing Web video "We Have a Lot of Work to Do:"
The TV ad "Crisis" by the right-wing independent group RightChange links the 9/11 attacks to the financial crisis, and suggests that Obama is undermining the U.S. strategy against further terror attacks.
RightChange ad "Crisis:"
Playing to the racial fears of undecided white voters in a final push to win Pennsylvania, an independent Republican group is on the air two days before the election with an ad recycling footage of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Polls suggest that McCain's only path to victory in the battleground states is to win the votes of a vast majority of undecided voters, most of whom are white.
Independent Republican GOP ad: "The Real Barack: Judgement:"
A group of Obama supporters carves out new territory in presidenital campaign marketing, creating the effort Yes We Carve, urging people to create Halloween pumpkins for Obama. The effort has a website in the style of the official Obama website, and a Youtube video:
Because it fits so well into their argument that McCain represents "more of the same," the Obama campaign released an ad touting Dick Cheney's endorsement of McCain, and his praise for Sarah Palin.
Obama ad "Delighted:"