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Weekly Standard: Hope and Change Hits the Screen

After nearly four years of waiting, and a landmark Supreme Court decision, David Bossie, chairman of the advocacy group Citizens United, finally got what he wanted—the chance to make a movie that could change the course of an election. Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, Citizens United will release its new documentary, The Hope and the Change, an hour-long overview of the Obama presidency. But, perhaps surprisingly, this isn’t really a movie for Republicans. Everyone interviewed for this documentary is a registered Democrat (or left-leaning independent).

The Citizens United movie does not delve deep into the president’s past. There are no expert opinions, and no behind the scenes footage. The Hope and the Change is not about the president but about those who put him in office: It’s a collection of interviews with Americans from “purple” states who voted for Obama in 2008–and who may not do so again. In interviews intertwined with media footage, these voters discuss how they became disillusioned with the candidate of hope and change.

The movie begins with the 2008 Obama campaign at its zenith, with all the fainting and the passion, and the “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” For conservatives, long skeptical of Obama worship, this footage provokes the same old scorn. And “clinging to guns and religion,” and Obama’s own admission of the stimulus that “shovel ready wasn’t as shovel ready as we thought.” There’s that slogan about the oceans receding and the earth beginning to heal—but the film also digs up a few gems you may have forgotten.

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