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The Road We've Traveled

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Title: The Road We've Traveled  
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Subject: Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012, Presidency of Barack Obama, Waiting for "Superman", Of Thee I Sing (book), Hope! – Das Obama Musical
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The Road We've Traveled

The Road We've Traveled
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Narrated by Tom Hanks
Release dates
  • March 15, 2012 (2012-03-15)
Running time 17 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Road We've Traveled is a 2012 documentary film about the events of Barack Obama's presidency. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the documentary was produced by Obama's re-election campaign and was narrated by Tom Hanks.[1]

The film

Events detailed in the film include the economic crisis, health care reform, the auto industry bailout, and the Navy Seal mission that led to the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.[2]

People interviewed in the film include Vice President Joe Biden, Obama political aide David Axelrod, consumer advocate and former chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP Elizabeth Warren and former chief of staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel.[3]


The New York Times noted the use of social media to reach voters instead of television advertisements.[4] New York Times reviewer Alessandra Stanley said that some critics of the video were "inane", noting that "Presidential candidates have been starring in self-promoting campaign videos since Eisenhower". Stanley also noted that the video focuses more on the "apocalyptic" scenarios averted, saying "It’s not morning yet on “The Road We’ve Traveled.” It’s the end of the darkest hour of the night."[5] The Washington Post referred to the film as a "masterful stroke", comparing it to a similar film made by Bill Clinton during the 1992 campaign. The reviewer wrote, "It’s less of a bragging moment and more like a contractor’s bid for renewal".[6]

[7] Liberal commentator Glenn Greenwald wrote that the film, and Guggenheim's subsequent media appearance, displayed "creepy leader worship" and that Guggenheim epitomized the "pure face of the Authoritarian Mind".[8] Republicans have been critical of the film and its positive perspective on Obama's presidency, saying that his policies have led to higher unemployment, record debt, and higher gas prices.[2]


  1. ^ Thomas, Ken (March 8, 2012). 'The Road We've Traveled': Obama Documentary Portrays Determined President"". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2012
  2. ^ a b "The shortest movie ever? White House releases film highlighting Obama's first-term achievements (and it's narrated by Tom Hanks)". Daily Mail (London). March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ Jackson, David (March 8, 2012). "'"Obama film: 'The Road We've Traveled. USA Today. Retrieved March 10, 2012
  4. ^ Peters, Jeremy (March 14, 2012). "With Youtube Video, Obama Looks to Expand Campaign's Reach Through Social Media". New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (March 15, 2012). "Obama Campaign Video Serves Up a Heroic Vision of Catastrophe Averted". New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ Stuever, Hank (March 15, 2012). "‘The Road We’ve Traveled’: Live-streaming Obama’s slick ‘docu-ganda’". Washington Post. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ Halper, Daniel (March 9, 2012). "Piers Morgan Mocks Davis Guggenheim for Obama Documentary". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved March 10, 2012
  8. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (March 9, 2012). "The Authoritarian Mind ". Salon. Retrieved March 11, 2012

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