Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 8, 2010

GUESS WHO'S VOTING?.... The other day, I had an idea for a short election-related video, so I jotted down a few notes. Of course, I don't know anything about turning back-of-the-napkin ideas into a finished product, so I took the concept to my friend Bill Simmon, a skilled filmmaker who knew exactly how to convert my script into a fun little clip.

Here's what we came up with. Let me know what you think.

Update: If you can't watch YouTube clips from your work computer, there's a Vimeo version available.

Steve Benen 12:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (93)

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Great!!! You made my day.

Posted by: IndigoJoe on October 8, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Very, very nice. Makes the point.

Posted by: Wapiti on October 8, 2010 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly I can't look at it here at my office. The IT gods have locked down youtube.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 8, 2010 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Simple. To the point. Poignant.

Steve, you may have missed your calling.

Posted by: Tim Woodall on October 8, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Yup. That's a grand presentation of the right message. Made my day, too!

Posted by: Russell Aboard M/V Sunshine on October 8, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be so sure about Limbaugh.

He didn't register to vote for the first time until he was 35 years old, so no one should overestimate his affinity it.

But you should still definitely get up off your @$$ and vote. Seriously.

Posted by: UncommonSense on October 8, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent -- succinct, and inspiring. Thank you!

Posted by: Winslow on October 8, 2010 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Great! I'm forwarding along.

Posted by: StraffordDem on October 8, 2010 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

It does a good job of conveying the Obama meme -- Buck up and vote for us, because (even though you have every right to be pissed at us,) these guys are worse.

Posted by: argo0 on October 8, 2010 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Liked it a lot. Will post on my Facebook page. One quibble is that the choice of the first guy, who can't spell, might seem to imply that you're against bad spellers voting. There isn't an indication of a prejudice on his part that should motivate me to vote against his point of view. Some liberals can't spell either.

Posted by: Betty on October 8, 2010 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK


Nicely done.

Posted by: Trinity on October 8, 2010 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

I like it! Excellent job!

Posted by: lkt on October 8, 2010 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Love it! Love it! Love it! Get it on John Stewart and get the Dems to put it on regular TV.

Posted by: mmm on October 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Great. Loved the Ray Charles soundtrack--best version of the song ever.

Posted by: xpatriate on October 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Fabulous! Get this EVERYWHERE.....

Posted by: SF on October 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Great idea!

A couple thoughts.

1) Except for progressive blogosphere geeks, people don't recognize the faces of Newt Gingrich, the Fox News sophists, etc. So I think you should either add captions or remove them.

2) I think it would help to pull together all the abominable consequences of GOPers winning into one message:
- Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh will call the shots
- Tea partiers will decide about the healthcare system
- Christine O'Donnell will ban sex, even with yourself

3) So what do you want us to do? (Get fired up, and go out and vote!) Tell the audience this directly at the end of the video.

Once again, great idea and great video!

Posted by: Eric E on October 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Wow!! Terrific! May it go viral...

Posted by: Caroldon on October 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

OMG, this is the best thing I've seen all season!! Do whatever it takes to get it on the airwaves and every computer screen in America. You're a genius, CB. But we knew that already. :)

Posted by: Curmudgeon on October 8, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Good job. Makes the point. Though some who don't keep up would have no idea who some of these people are (Angle, Paul).

Another way to help is to volunteer at phone banks. I'm doing this for our governor's race. Phone banking made a difference in our senatorial race two years ago and now we have a progressive Democrat in office instead of a Republican "yes man"... or is that a "no man"?

Posted by: Hannah on October 8, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Simply brilliant.

Posted by: JoeW on October 8, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Eric E has some good points: Do tell the audience to get up and vote....

He's right about who will call shots and what the TPartiers would do to health care, but the problem is overloading with facts, which liberals love but can often overload these short messages. I think the characters should be identified, but leave it at this. This is lovely, and yes, the Ray Charles soundtrack is PERFECT!

Posted by: SF on October 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Simple, effective. I posted it on my Facebook page as well. Would you let us know how many YouTube hits it gets by tomorrow, Steve?

Posted by: Dilford on October 8, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Great video!

I've got only one quibble: the photo of the rally at the end has -- because of the handmade sign, Obama's campaign logo front and center. Since we only see the shot clearly for a second, we might get confused about who those ralliers are voting for. If you can, I'd find another photo without the O logo.

But it's a great idea, and overall the execution is wonderful!


Posted by: Rob S on October 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

WOW!!! Simple, honest, scary, and ... spectacular! I'm sharing this 'fun little clip' far and wide [with appropriate credit of course]. Great job!

Posted by: Sooz on October 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Very nice. Good call on the Ray Charles!

Posted by: puravida on October 8, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Great video, Steve!

I posted it today and have it scheduled to re-post on November 1st.

Don't forget kids -- election day is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2010.

Posted by: karen marie on October 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'd pony up a few bucks for this to run in my market ... if it were customized. That's the best thing: you could shove Toomey's face in there for PA, Rubio's for FL. I want LePage for ME.

I like.

Posted by: gussie on October 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

This is super awesome.

Posted by: BattleCobra90000 on October 8, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I think Rob is right. I thoght that was a pro-Obama rally for a second.

Posted by: gussie on October 8, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's a great horror movie.

All kidding aside. It was wonderful. Great choice of Ray Charles. It makes the point.
Why can't the Democratic 'Political Advisors" come up with something like this? Oh yeah, they're really Republican plants, vested in our side losing. They get more money next time around, and, in the meantime, more air time on CNN and FOX.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on October 8, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, you're only going to motivate die-hard liberals with this video. And they are already going to vote.

Focus group this on some people disconnected from politics, and you will see that they aren't going to be suddenly motivated to vote.

Posted by: DR on October 8, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

That was great. I'd kick in some cash to run that in markets where it would help.

Posted by: glazovsk on October 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Straight to Facebook. Thanks Steve!

Posted by: Les Ismore on October 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Yawn. The Democratic Party: nothing to offer but fear itself!

Posted by: fradiavolo on October 8, 2010 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Sent immediately to my mid-twenties-aged stepdaughter, with instructions to send it to everyone she knows.

Posted by: elmo on October 8, 2010 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Great Idea Steve!
Excellently done Bill!

Now, let's go viral. :-)

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on October 8, 2010 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

it's pretty tight, man.

Posted by: Fernando Vazquez on October 8, 2010 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

That is seriously awesome. Just posted it to FB.

Posted by: wvng on October 8, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Terrific. Post this far and wide.

Posted by: TR on October 8, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Just. Simply. Brilliant.

Posted by: jprichva on October 8, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Outstanding work.

And if anyone needs further proof that the Tea Party nuts are indeed going to be voting, and getting all their friends to turn out, just look at all the "related" videos underneath that one on YouTube -- almost all are Tea Party GOTV spots.

Share this with everyone you know, people.

Posted by: Brian on October 8, 2010 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Outstanding, Steve and Bill.

Posted by: Swift Loris on October 8, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

excellent..and any 60-seconds that involves hearing ray's version of this song is worth it..

Posted by: bruce k on October 8, 2010 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, just went to YouTube, did a search for "Everyone Loses"; your video came up way down the page--there are quite a few videos with similar titles. You might want to think about giving the video a slightly more distinctive title in case folks are searching for it by name.

Posted by: Swift Loris on October 8, 2010 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

What they all said.

Including the thing about the last rally shot being a little unclear, and not everyone knowing who all those faces are. I read this blog daily and I didn't know who some of them were.

Otherwise, a great idea. I'll be posting it.

Posted by: Nothing but the Ruth on October 8, 2010 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

You should all check out Steve and Bill's fun Poli-Sci-Fi Radio show: http://www.poliscifiradio.com/

Posted by: Vermonter on October 8, 2010 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Nice, though there must be an ugly photo of Gingrich that can be worked in.

Posted by: PeakVT on October 8, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Better than most DNC ads, by far.
Nice pic of Sarah Palin. She looks crazy.

Posted by: BluePotSmokesBetter on October 8, 2010 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: king buzzo on October 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Every picture of Gingrich is an ugly photo. The kind of ugly that comes from the inside out.

FWIW, the only thing I would've added would be a shot of Ann Coulter and the text: She may even vote twice. She hopes you don't.

Linking now.

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 8, 2010 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

This is effective, and will be spread around. Hire a staff to make regional versions, and fact check their work. Titles should be more clear, like "Vote Democratic" and for regional variations, "Vote Democratic Florida" etc.

The whacko statements by the Neo-know-nothings will be news to the viewers you want to reach - flood U-Tube with multiple versions of gut reaction images, including names in fine print.

I watched twice so I could rehear the soundtrack.

Posted by: Edna Gardener on October 8, 2010 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Obama approach didn't make me want to vote.

But yours most certainly does!

Posted by: polyblog on October 8, 2010 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, the video doesn't identify them all as Republicans. Michelle Bachman republican congresswoman, Republican candidate for Senate O'Donnell, etc.

You have to taint the Republican brand.

Posted by: grooft on October 8, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

@GUALG: the DEMS have made some great videos all posted here by Steve.

Posted by: Alli on October 8, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

I like the concept. the last rally pic looks like a PRO Obama rally. Not sure about the song. Seems to be such a pleasant song for a commercial featuring such scary people. Some have said that only political junkies will appreciate this or know most of these faces. Maybe that problem can be solved by showing some of these people speaking or spewing some of their craziest crap.

Posted by: Alli on October 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I try to keep my politics out of my facebook for the most part, but considering breaking my self-imposed rule for this.

Posted by: short fuse on October 8, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

On FB. Nice clip Steve & Bill. Excellent.

Posted by: whichwitch on October 8, 2010 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

A few revision suggestions:

1. I agree with the previous commenter about the song choice. You need some scary, spooky music to go along with the message.

2. It's WAY too long. I'd keep it around 30 seconds. I got the point after the first few slides.

3. I like the end of the ad where the "voting" slogan appears over the top of the people, although the message gets a little muddied when you add more text - like, "she voting but you're not." I think people will get the point if you start the video with a blank black screen with white text that says, "Who's voting this November?" Then, as each of the pictures come up, you can just flash "voting" in front of their faces.

I like the definitely voting on Rush. Very cool.


Posted by: Kennie Rose on October 8, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that's it.
Please get it out there.

Posted by: dexdah on October 8, 2010 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: mudwall jackson on October 8, 2010 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Absolutely terrific - thanks!

Posted by: John on October 8, 2010 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Simple and effective. Fanfckingtastic. Get off your asses, people.

Posted by: mikeg on October 8, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

this is great - am forwarding to all my liberal friends, so they can forward, too. THEY will ALL recognize the faces in this video!

Posted by: withay on October 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Great right up until the last line. I would much preferred to have it end: "And America loses."

Posted by: digitusmedius on October 8, 2010 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

You have to identify all the people in there. Nobody knows who Louis Gohmert is, without a caption that states "Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert." Same goes for Hannity, Fox News hosts etc.

Otherwise, it's an awesome video.

Posted by: Sam on October 8, 2010 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

It would make me embarrased NOT to vote!!

Posted by: DRINKSFORALL on October 8, 2010 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Loved it! :o)

Posted by: genome on October 8, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: Sean Price on October 8, 2010 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

This is pure gold, Steve!

Posted by: azportsider on October 8, 2010 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

For the record I would not bet on Limbaugh being a voter. Too much effort and dealing with the unwashed, don't you know.

I think this we're not going to vote crap is getting a little out of hand. No one in any mainstream, and not mainstream, Liberal group is advocating not voting. We Liberals are politically engaged, that's why we're Liberals, so know the what's at stake, the folks who may not get out and vote are those no so engaged voters. They get riled up about this and that and it gets them out there, so lecturing us DFHs on the consequences of not voting is going to get anyone anywhere, doing something about run away bankers, jobs and the economy might. Of course yelling at Liberals for not voting will give the chattering class someone to blame if Dems lose seats in November and that's what this is really all about, no one in the Dem leadership needs to lose a job for being incompetent if they find the right people to blame for their failures.

Posted by: Henk on October 8, 2010 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, thanks for getting the point across again. But I echo the feedback that says you can make this a lot stronger just by expanding your captions:
"Republican representative Michelle Bachman"
"Republican candidate for Senate Christine O'Donnell".
"Right wing radio host"

In fact I would love to see something aimed more at the average voter (this is really for the disaffected base) that emphasizes the crazy across the Republican party this year. I think most voters don't see the pattern across the country the way insiders do, it would help to really emphasize that in the weeks ahead.

Posted by: shoeflyin on October 8, 2010 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I forwarded it as an important public service message.

Posted by: sparrow on October 8, 2010 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well done.

Posted by: Melissa on October 8, 2010 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Absolutely wonderful. Thank you both so much. We shall, we must, overcome the wretched right hateocracy. Vote, vote, vote--please vote!

Posted by: Giselle on October 8, 2010 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Two thumbs up!!

Posted by: electrolite on October 8, 2010 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Very good content.

BUT you need a better title - something easier to google for.

Posted by: rewinn on October 8, 2010 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Very little to add to everyone else's praise; I liked it very much and shall be reposting to my Facebook wall. Would like it even better, with some tweaking along the lines suggested above:

1) Change the title to America Loses. It'll go better with the song beside being more accurate (all of those shown will, presumably, *win*).
2) Identify the participants by their roles/party allegiance.
3) And, by all means add Coulter with "she might vote twice"; Repubs are all so hot and bothered about voter fraud but, when instances of it come to the surface, it's always them committing the fraud.

Posted by: exlibra on October 8, 2010 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

More of this please.

Maybe add a shot of the teabaggers yelling and spitting at black Democratic congresssmen as they walked the gauntlet to cast their vote for healthcare reform.

Posted by: Winkandanod on October 8, 2010 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Set this up on a mobile screen and circle Fox's building in NYC 24/7.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on October 8, 2010 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

That's great Steve, and kudos to your friend, Bill, for translating your concept very nicely. I think the excellent music sort of emphasizes the ludicrousness of the 'bagger's and dregs.

GOTV is important. Whether Dem's are in a crisis of apathy or not, the video is truth, nitwits and bad actors will be voting. If more of them show up than we do, there will be more nitwits and bad actors getting elected.

348 views and counting. You're on your way. Well done. Definitely getting forwarded, and I got my mail in ballot today. Can't wait to vote for Boxer and Brown and get it sent in.

Posted by: burro on October 8, 2010 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Tweeted and posted to Facebook. Thanks.

Posted by: DawnP on October 9, 2010 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Fantastic - home run -
found you from DailyKos
post about your video is #2 on rec list
congrats & thank you

Posted by: howbouthat on October 9, 2010 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Great one. Get it shown ! Widely !!

Posted by: PatD on October 9, 2010 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

Great video...one suggestion. Most people will not know who the republican representatives are unless they are political junkies like us(sans Palin etc). I suggest for more impact, you put the (R) and the district so that it personalizes it more and can be better understood by a larger audience.
Otherwise great piece...let's hope it gets some play time.

Posted by: Indy on October 9, 2010 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

A good idea might be to decide who the audience is going to be. Do you want to try to get a broader apathetic public to snap out of it and vote, or do you want to concentrate on getting a particularly resentful, involved but disaffected section of the liberal base to snap out of it and vote?

I think the general message of the ad would work equally well with both camps, but as mentioned above it should be tailored to each (a broader audience might not recognize some faces, etc).

Just my two cents.

Posted by: sweaty guy on October 9, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

I keep hearing that wonderful Ray Charles version of "America" in my head, and it will remind me to vote.

Posted by: happyfungirl on October 9, 2010 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'd suggest a voiceover instead of superimposed text, so people in the next room pick up something more than just Sachmo. But it's a terrific ad -- better than ANY Democrats' ads I've yet seen in this cycle.

Which makes me wonder how come you clearly know more about making political ads than any top-level Democratic Party operatives, though you've never made an ad before. Are Dems even trying to win?

Posted by: Helen & Harry on October 9, 2010 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

This made me cry! -and mad! I am voting and for the right folks, the democrats! The only people in Washington trying to put America first.

Posted by: Rose Tyler on October 9, 2010 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

14.5+ K views on YouTube in 24hrs. Nice :)

Posted by: exlibra on October 9, 2010 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Just got back from an OFA phone banking event. Wish I had had that along to give everyone a nice little kick. Great work!


Posted by: Gtown Don on October 9, 2010 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent, concise and very smart.

Posted by: Isabelle on October 11, 2010 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

I posted it on Facebook! :)

Posted by: Jules on October 12, 2010 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Please update it. Include the latest idiots like Tim Profitt. I posted this one on my Facebook page. 12 others then posted it on their pages. Let's give them something new. I also like others' ideas about creating a different video focusing on the accomplishments of Obama and Democrats. Thanks.

Posted by: fxqjr on October 27, 2010 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK



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