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Obama: The infomercial, plus Bill

The Los Angeles Times writes, "Barack Obama's 30-minute campaign commercial Wednesday night was not merely a tactical decision to carpet-bomb millions of Americans in pursuit of a few thousand undecided voters who can dictate the outcome of the presidential campaign. Aired on seven network and cable stations, the ad served as a national get-out-the-vote organizing tool for Obama operatives. It offered even the swiftest channel-flipper the chance to see Obama looking presidential, helping to condition voters to that possibility. And once again it proved to John McCain, and everyone else, how Obama's deep pool of campaign cash has allowed him to rewrite the rules of the campaign."

The Washington Post's Tom Shales seemed to like the infomercial. "As political filmmaking, 'Barack Obama: American Stories' was an elegant combination of pictures, sounds, voices and music designed not so much to sell America on Barack Obama as to communicate a sensibility. The film conveyed feelings, not facts -- specifically, a simulation of how it would feel to live in an America with Barack Obama in the White House. The tone and texture recalled the 'morning in America' campaign film made on behalf of Ronald Reagan, a work designed to give the audience a sense of security and satisfaction; things are going to be all right."

More: "Although McCain was not seen during the half-hour, one could easily summon the contrasting image of the Republican while watching Obama. McCain has come across on television as relatively worried, whiny, fusty and falsely folksy. He brought bad news; he has come to epitomize and personify it. Obama brings you medication along with the list of symptoms; he has developed a great bedside, as well as fireside, manner… It was the easiest thing in the world, watching the skillfully edited hodgepodge put together by his campaign, to picture Obama as president. That's one thing the film was designed to do, especially for the doubters and those scared, 'undecided' voters out there."

The New York Post calls Obama's prime time half hour an "Inf-'O'-mercial" and has this mildly funny "As Seen on TV" mock ad with Obama pitching spray bottles of "Hope" and buckets of "Obama change."  
 
The New York Daily News calls it "Bamavision." (We kind of like "Barack-umentary" or the "Barack-block.") 
 
"Barack Obama wasn't selling tomato slicers or time-shares, but a star TV pitchman said the presidential hopeful's infomercial had a key element for success -- passion," the Daily News writes. "Infomercial king Matthew Lesko -- the wacky author of a string of books on how to get money from the government -- gave Obama's half-hour TV spot Wednesday night high marks."

The AP's Woodward: "Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office."

The New York Times writes up Bill Clinton stumping with Obama last night in Florida. "Six days before Election Day, the two men made their first joint campaign appearance of the season, striding onto the stage alone together. In the eyes of hopeful Democrats, it carried the air of a torch-passing – absent any of the bitterness from the long presidential primary – as they wore wide smiles and heaped praise onto one another. Mr. Clinton delivered a spirited argument for the Democratic ticket, offering four distinct reasons to support Mr. Obama on Election Day next week: his philosophy, his policies, his ability to make a decision and his ability to bring change to people's lives."

The Boston Globe reports on a woman who may be Obama's aunt. She works for the Boston Housing Authority and lives in South Boston, the paper says.