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Best Political Web Videos of the Week

BY Editors | Friday, September 28 2007

It’s that time again when we take a look at our favorite political videos of the week. Some are produced by the campaigns, some are about the campaigns, and some have nothing to do with the campaigns. But in our estimation, they’ve all struck a socio-political nerve.

As always, we welcome your suggestions. Send them along to techpres AT personaldemocracy DOT com.

11. Bush Pronounces Mandela Dead. In a press conference, George Bush shocks us with terrible news: “Mandela’s dead.” It isn’t true, of course. As he goes on to say, “because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandela’s,” it becomes clear that (I think) he meant to say that the Mandela-like figures in Iraq are dead because of Saddam Hussein’s repressive treatment of dissenters. More than 170,000 viewers on YouTube have had near-heart attacks at hearing the false news.

10. Barack Obama NYC Rally Trailer. Yesterday Barack Obama led a rally in New York’s Washington Square Park, and to promote the event his campaign released this great send-up of a movie trailer. Produced in association with the fictional “Hope Monger Studios,” the video takes full advantage of Obama’s charm, managing to generate excitement while saying nothing about the candidate. Close to 4,000 views on YouTube.

9. Bill Richardson: The Choice on Iraq. Middle-tier candidate Richardson stakes out his position on Iraq. He’s the only candidate, Democratic or Republican, advocating getting all of the troops out of the country, leaving no residual troops behind. We’re big fans of Richardson’s web videos, which always mention to be forceful and well-produced, and give a solid impression of the candidate, regardless of his policies. Close to 3400 views on the Tube.

8. Five Brothers. A brilliant use of Mitt Romney’s mashup contest, turned against the candidate. The video, jumping off of Romney’s comment that his sons are serving the country by working on his campaign, combines the words of Romney with a parody of films like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers to produce one of the best anti-campaign ads of the season.

7. Giuliani Takes Phone Call From Wife During NRA Speech. In a move many are claiming they’ve seen before, Rudy Giuliani receives a call from his wife in the middle of a speech to the NRA. “I’m talking to the members of the NRA right now, would you like to say hello? I love and I’ll give you a call as soon as I’m finished, okay?” Is this a ploy to show Rudy’s human side, or just the sign of a needy wife? You be the judge. It’s posted multiple times on YouTube, with a total of about 73,000 views.

6. Leftists protest at 9/11 memorial. When the College Republicans joined the College Democrats in a non-partisan commemoration of the 9/11 attacks, they were besieged by protesters doing nasty stuff like wearing Guantanamo suits and sieg-heiling the American flag. But this video, produced by the College Republicans, does little to rise above partisan squabbling. By labeling the protesters leftists, the producers imply a connection to the Democrats, but “9/11 was an inside job” conspiracy theorists come from the fringes of both the left and right (indeed from somewhere where those fringes meet), and it’s dishonest to imply that they are simply wacky leftists. Almost 46,000 views on YouTube.

5. Silent Debate II. The second “Silent Debate,” moderated by Harry Shearer, pits John McCain against Dennis Kucinich. The one rule: no talking. Shearer asks some tough questions, in response to which the candidates sit and stare. It’s as funny as the first one, with McCain offering a particularly engaging response to a question on trade policy. About 800 views on YouTube, though it’s also hosted on My Damn Channel.

4. Why Tuesday? Why are U.S. elections on Tuesdays? We didn’t know either until we watched Jacob Soboroff’s video announcing the launch of his “Why Tuesday” campaign. As Soboroff points out in this introductory video, the U.S. ranks 139th out of 172 countries in voter turnout! The project’s goal is to fix that. More than 20,000 views on YouTube.

3. Riot at Shwe Dagon Pagoda East gate in Burma. Citizen-powered video has been at the center of the uprising in Burma, where Buddhist monks have led the first revolt in 19 years against the repressive military junta that rules the country. This video and others like it are being posted in almost real time, filling the void left by the lack of free media. This video has been viewed about 12,000 times on YouTube.

2. Elizabeth Edwards - A Question For You. In this intimate video, Elizabeth Edwards knows of what she speaks when she says, “sometimes we put things off, don’t we, we think we have all the time in the world. Well, we don’t.” Continuing to frame the Edwards campaign as a social movement, she makes us feel guilty for not doing our part.

1. Runaround Hsu. Michelle Malkin and take on legally-challenged Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu in this parody. While lacking in subtlety, its funny and, well, true. Bonus points for rhyming the line “gave me money but it wasn’t clean” with “Ponzi scheme.” Almost 32,000 YouTube views.