2008 saw an explosion when it came to internet usage in politics. With the technology to create, distribute, and view video content widely available, it seemed like anybody who was anybody was creating videos for the whole world to watch.
Web videos are here to stay, and after the jump I rounded up the Top 10 Most Memorable Web Videos of this campaign season.
10. Democratic Primary in 8 minutes
Web magazine Slate put together a summary of the Democratic primary race that'll take you 8 minutes to view. I remember writing about some of those events!
9. Mike Gravel's "Rock"
In May 2007, Mike Gravel burst onto the web video scene with this video of him staring at the camera and throwing a rock into a lake. While it may have lost him any ability to be taken seriously by the Very Serious People on TV, it did give the former Alaskan Senator a reputation and hundreds of earned media hours.
What if Disney made a movie about an average hockey mom who becomes the president? Wouldn't it be awful? This College Humor video spoofed the image Sarah Palin was selling of herself and made "You pucked with the wrong ice president" my new favorite film line.
7. Obama is Wassup
This late-season web video based on those Budweiser "Wassup" commercials from 1999 reminded us of the havoc the Bush administration has wreaked on the US. Because the original commercials were made in a time when the US had a functioning economy, this video showed that even older themes are still relevant political fodder.
By March 2007, there was already an Obama Girl, a Giuliani Girl, a Kucinich Girl, and a singer who was Hot for Hillary. What about Republican nominee John McCain? The McCain Girls put out their first song "It's Raining McCain" and had everyone fooled into thinking they were sincere. A later McCain Girl video revealed that their videos were produced by 23/6, an off-shoot of the Huffington Post.
YouTube star Lisa Nova put out this video days after John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. While the above College Humor video satired the image of Palin the McCain campaign was selling, Lisa Nova capitalized on what liberals had learned about her in that first short burst of research right after she was announced, portraying her as a one-woman political machine who likes Bible study and killing animals. Did we end up learning anything else about Sarah Palin in the months that followed?
John McCain, who was America's best-loved Republican and frequent TV guest for decades, decided that he'd slam his previously unknown rival Barack Obama as a "celebrity" and compare him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. While Britney was probably, um, er, busy elsewhere, Paris responded to the insult by making her own video response for Funny or Die. This video even inspired several serious journals to evaluate her energy policy and effectively pronounced her as more of an expert on branding than the McCain campaign.
2. The Obama Girl's Got a Crush
In June of 2007, the Obama Girl made her debut in this Barely Political video announcing that she had a crush on Obama. Sure, it turned out that she couldn't sing and that she didn't know who she was going to vote for. But the song was catchy, she was charming, and the gasbags on TV were charmed by the idea of making the elections fun, informal, and sexy. The Obama Girl was everywhere, on CNN, Fox News, and SNL, and she inspired other humorous takes on American politics.
And now it seems like a majority of American voters have a crush on Obama. How prescient!
Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, Scarlett Johansson, and other celebrities took the inspirational words of Barack Obama and made a song and web video out of it. Obama's message didn't change much throughout all this time, and "Yes We Can" was in his acceptance speech the other night. This video's even better now than it was when it was first produced, and that it captures the feeling of the moment so well is why it's #1 on my list.