The Obama campaign is tapping its vast celebrity resources and bringing in the likes of Tom Hanks to narrate a 17-minute documentary about President Obama's first three years in office, to be released next week.
"How do we understand this president and his time in office? Do we look at the day's headlines or do we remember what we, as a country, had been through?" the trailer, released on Thursday, begins.
The clip for "The Road We've Traveled" lays out the challenges President Obama faced upon taking office, from a poor economy to a crumbling auto industry and how he that led his decision-making.
It's a sentiment we hear from the president himself all of the time at campaign events, only this time it is packaged in a way to give maximum impact; interspersed with interviews of the president's advisors, set to music and directed by Academy Award-winning Director Davis Guggenheim, who won an Oscar for Al Gore's 2006 documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth". He also directed 2010's, "Waiting for 'Superman'" and the 2008 documentary starring the Obamas, "A Mother's Promise: Barack Obama Bio Film."
Campaign manager Jim Messina says of the piece, "It's going to put into perspective the enormous challenges that the nation faced when the president took office and the strides we've made together."
The Republican National Committee reacted swiftly, "The American people don't need a movie trailer or a 17 minute documentary to know what the president accomplished over the past three years," spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski said in a statement. "Unfortunately Americans feel Obama's accomplishments each and every day after President Obama led our country to higher unemployment, record debt, and higher gas prices."
When asked if the documentary means the every day defense of the president's record is not getting through, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney jokingly posed, "Are you suggesting that I'm no Tom Hanks?"
Carney implied the documentary isn't revealing any communication lapses; rather it is but another platform from which to explain the president's vision for the country.
At this point, the president can afford to be a minimalist campaigner, allowing his team to put forward this retrospective on his behalf while continuing his daily presidential business.
That's not to say he's avoiding hitting the campaign trail. Mr. Obama certainly headlines his fair share of fundraisers, but many of them of late have been located in Washington, D.C., which cuts down tremendously on costs.
The full documentary will be unveiled on March 15 at premieres at "Obama for America" field offices around the country.