Michael Crawford

MoveOn: Obama in 30 Seconds

Filed By Michael Crawford | March 14, 2008 7:14 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, MoveOn

Check out this cool contest that MoveOn is sponsoring to help elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States.

Dear MoveOn member,

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: make a 30-second TV ad that tells the nation why Barack Obama should be our next President.

If you and your friends have writing, acting, or video editing talent--whether you're a total amateur or a total pro--now is the time to use your creativity to help Obama win.

Today, we're launching an ad contest called "Obama in 30 Seconds." Anyone can make an ad about Obama between now and April 1. The public will vote on the best ads, and a panel of top artists, film professionals, and netroots heroes will pick a winner from among the finalists. (Judges include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, John Legend, Donna Edwards, and Markos Moulitsas. The full list is below.)

We'll air the winning Obama ad nationally, and the winner will receive a gift certificate for $20,000 in video equipment. Whether you're definitely interested or need time to think about it, let us know--we'll keep you in the loop as the contest proceeds. Get contest details, sign up, and watch a short video of MoveOn's Eli Pariser describing the contest by clicking here:

iPhone users: Click to watch

Every day, political insiders and pundits tell Americans what to think about the presidential race. But now, it's YOUR turn to take the megaphone. We want to run ads that are of the people, by the people, and for the people. So consider making an ad.

If you have acting or writing talent and have a friend with video skills, join as a team! Or, pass this email to a friend who is good at making videos. This contest builds on the success of MoveOn's "Bush in 30 Seconds" contest in 2004--which resulted in thousands of videos and a great winner that aired nationally.

Obama has already inspired many supporters to produce independent videos, and you can now be part of this movement. By combining all of our creative talent with the power of online video, we can help push Obama to victory. Thanks for all you do.

-Adam G., Laura, Daniel, Peter, Ilyse, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Thursday, March 13th, 2008

P.S. Here's a direct link to our contest page:
P.P.S. Here's the complete list of judges:

Academy Award-winning writer/actor/director Ben Affleck; Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor/director Steve Buscemi; Academy Award-winning writer/actor Matt Damon; progressive hero & future Congresswoman Donna Edwards; musician/activist Michael Franti; actor/musician/director Adrian Grenier; Academy Award-nominated producer Ted Hope; author & civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson; award-winning documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy; Grammy-winning recording artist John Legend; Stanford Law professor & founder of the Center for Internet and Society Lawrence Lessig; recording artist & Bush in 30 Seconds co-founder Moby; Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas; President of Lionsgate Entertainment Tom Ortenberg; Native American activist and documentary filmmaker Heather Rae; President of Focus Features James Schamus; producer, author, and entrepreneur Russell Simmons; author, lecturer, & experimental hip hop musician DJ Spooky; Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Ricki Stern; Academy Award-winning writer/director Oliver Stone; Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Annie Sundberg; Grammy & Golden Globe award-winning songwriter and musician Eddie Vedder; and New York Times best-selling author Naomi Wolf.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

wonderful. now we can put our president(ial candidate) right up there with "wheaties" and "cheerios". if only they would offer an old baseball glove signed by dimaggio....

Michael Bedwell | March 14, 2008 10:32 AM

Thank you Official Obama Volunteer Crawford for that interesting news.

But where are Randy, Paula, & Simon? How can the American Idolization of Obama continue without them?

30 seconds? That's a lot of time to fill with Obama's limited accomplishments.

“People are so tired of dealing with two-foot midgets, you give them someone two foot four and they start proclaiming him a giant.” – STUDS TERKEL, 1980

"And the person who can simply incant his name the most times in 30 seconds wins a special reproduction of an Official Obama Art Work."

“I couldn't help noticing... that the blue-pen drawing [Obama had] doodled on his newspaper during fundraising calls was a portrait of himself.” – ATLANTIC MONTHLY, September 2004

I think it's a good way to try and get voters more invested in the campaign. From a marketing point of view, it's brilliant.

Time to be Devil's Advacte will they also sponsor a add contest for Hillary?

This is kinda creepy, like when Coca Cola did the same thing a couple years ago. It's like, way to co-opt people's creativity.

But I'll agree with Bil that it is a good idea from the campaign's point of view.

Cathy~ They won't. MoveOn is a private organization that had an internal election several months ago where they decided to endorse and support Obama.

I don't see why the Clinton campaign can't do the same thing. It's not impossible to put together a video contest, youtube does it all the time.

Michael Bedwell | March 14, 2008 1:34 PM

It won't be easy, you'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I lied
that I still need your love after all of my lies

Why should you believe me?
All you see is a man you never knew
Although he's dressed up to the nines
At sixes and sevens with you

I had to let it happen, I had to change
Couldn't stay all my life down at heel
Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun

So I chose politics
Running around, trying everything new
No shame suppressed me at all
I never expected it to


Don't cry for me I'm Barackobama
The truth is I never luved you
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I broke my promise
Can’t keep my promise

And as for fortune, and as for fame
I quickly invited them in
It seemed to the world they were all I desired

I am an illusion
I am not the solution I promise to be
The answer was here all the time
I love you and hope you love me
You should have voted for Hill-ary

Don't cry for me I'm Barackobama


Have I said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you.
But all you have to do is look at me to know
That every word is true

Didn't know they had endorsed him then I don't keep up with that group very much.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 15, 2008 1:07 AM

Wow Mr. Bedwell,

I continue ti be amazed by your cynicism. I guess that's why you are supporting Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

I don't know what you have against Americans feeling inspired by a candidate to the highest office in our country to get involved. It is your prerogative to be suspicious of people who want to change our country for the better.

I find it fascinating that you spend so much time attempting to tear down Obama and so little time putting forth the positive reasons you support Clinton.

You do have positive reasons that you support Clinton, right?

Yeah, Michael B, besides her being a bitch I mean. Tell us why?

The three brutally honest reasons to vote for Obama.

It's time we had a Black President!
And even if this particular guy's mediocre, he can't do too much damage, can he?

Obama : the only Man running who's not Republican. (that one's for the MCPs who vote)

Obama : the only Democrat running who's not a Clinton.

And in the interests of fairness, the three equally brutally honest reasons for voting for HRC

It's time we had a Woman President!
And even if this particular gal's a treacherous political slimeball, that's not necessarily a disadvantage in a President.

Hillary : The only Woman running.

Hillary : Because she's not Republican

And for McCain

It's time we had a genuine War Hero as a President.
Well, he can't possibly be *worse* than Bush, can he?

McCain : Because he's not Obama

McCain : Because he's not a Clinton

Actually, I don't think GWB was too bad, and I think history will judge him as kindly as it does Reagan. The Clintonian political machine makes Tammany hall look like a model of rectitude, and Obama's lack of any qualification other than being African-American and an unknown quantity doesn't thrill me. His foreign policy is appalling too, if he sticks to it.

But McCain's pandering to antiscientific groups scares me. I'd have to put him last, RWDB though I am. It really is time the US had a woman or a black in the white house. Past time. If it doesn't happen now, it will make the US look bad.

I'm glad I'm Australian, so can't vote. I like Hillary's policies, but she's such a two-faced scheming and sly political animal, I'd trust her as far as I can throw her, uphill, against the wind, with one hand tied behind my back. She's predictable though - if she sees any political benefit, no trick is too dirty, no treachery beyond contemplation. She's the soul of expedience.

I don't think any of the three would do the US lasting harm. After long contemplation - I'd grit my teeth and vote for HRC. The USA survived two Bushes. It can survive two Clintons.

I'm not sure Obama's any cleaner for one thing: Illinois politics is the dirtiest in the land.

IMHO of course, and please remember my political bias towards the right. They at least stab you in the front, and don't pretend to be your allies.

Michael Bedwell | March 15, 2008 2:43 PM

>>>>”I continue to be amazed by your cynicism. I guess that's why you are supporting Hillary Clinton for the presidency.”

Lame, predictable closing dig, but permit me to correct you. It’s not my “cynicism” it’s my conviction that Obama is more suit than substance.

>>>>>”I don't know what you have against Americans feeling inspired by a candidate to the highest office in our country to get involved.”

I don’t have anything against it as such. Distorted thinking again, but I guess that’s why you are supporting Barack Obama for the Presidency.

1. You’re implying that no one is inspired by Sen. Clinton. I guess it’s just been Bill and Chelsea whirling from one state to another, from one event to another, to one polling place to another, ad infinitum. Guess they’ve somehow been pretending to be the millions voting for her lonnnnnng after Mr. Inspiration was supposed to have closed the deal.

Seriously, Mr. Crawford, the level of self-delusion of the Obama campaign, as Joe Klein and others have written, ... so in love with itself that it repeatedly speaks and acts as if only it/they existed has escalated from a movement to a mutation of mass narcissism and collective solipsism. See early Steve McQueen movie, “The Blob.”

2. But, no, I don’t recall thousands applauding simply because Sen. Clinton sneezed. No one expects her to bring loaves and fishes to the next rally of multitudes. No one expects her to walk on the Potomac to the Inauguration. And, therein, is the rub. As Bayard Rustin warned us about anyone, Obama’s mere charisma has been elevated into greatness. Terkel’s “two foot four midget” has been proclaimed a giant. That inspiration has gone from inspiring in and of itself to irrational, incoherent, and foreboding.

Inspiration to involvement is wonderful but is a part of the means to an end not an end in itself. 14,000 people moved by a sneeze can’t move into the Oval Office. I’ve seen it the room. Have a photo of my much younger self sitting at President Carter’s desk. Trust me—it's too small. Nor can they all answer the phone at 3 a.m., nor meet with foreign leaders, nor create a successful bully pulpit for progress whenever needed. Nor restrain terrorism, destruction of the environment, and a tireless, endlessly funded Antigay/trans Industry.

>>>>>”It is your prerogative to be suspicious of people who want to change our country for the better.”

Oh, Mr. Crawford. I do not simply suspect Obama. I have proof that he used political gamesmanship to advance his ambition, has demonstrated frighteningly poor judgment to HIS OWN detriment [ya wanna talk about Rev. God Damn America Wright mit Farrakhan?], demonstrated self-serving, personal betrayal [for years Obama described Rev. Wright as his dearest friend and inspriration—now he describes him like some crazy old uncle—“every family has one”], misrepresented his true positions, demonstrated that denouncing antiSemitics is important to him [for whatever reason] while denouncing homohaters is not, has lied about his accomplishments, and played the race card while simultaneously branding Sen. and Pres. Clinton as racists. We are worse off now because of those things—how much more damage would he do as President?

By contrast, “35 years” is, of course, an exaggeration but Sen. Clinton has the advantage of simply being involved in government and social progress longer than Obama by benefit of having lived longer. Simple fact.

However many emotional scars he might retain from little relationship with his biological father, Obama has never faced 15 years of endless attempts by an entire ruthless political party, a tireless demonizing press, an empire of drooling talk show demagogues whose worst sin was NOT announcing “the White House Dog” and holding up a picture of one of Obama’s daughters, and a multi-million dollar privately funded crusade to destroy him and those he loves.

WHERE are the records of any “Arkansas Project” waged against Obama and a media mocking him for even suggested it existed even as they KNEW it did? Where is his Richard Mellon Scaife? Has an additional $70 million of tax payer money been spent trying to discredit and criminally indict and convict him and his wife? Has anyone ever accused him of having someone murdered to cover up an alleged sexual affair with the victim and damaging secrets the victim allegedly knows? Has he ever been internationally humiliated, publicly betrayed by his spouse? And walked on to bigger and better accomplishments, having, as all women do, to dance backwards at the same time.

Has he ever been so personally tested, experienced ANYTHING like any of this and not just survived but prevailed? Not just privately, not just personally, but “professionally” to the degree that despite all that, despite the endless declarations that “everybody hates her,” “everybody knows no one will vote for her,” “her campaign team is a disaster,” “her campaign is dead,” enough don’t hate her, enough have voted for her, enough are inspired by her, that she has stalemated The New Messiah.

When he has been in the US Senate as long as she has, he might very well demonstrate the bipartisan successes to benefit the country that she has crafted even with former nail drivers at her husband’s crucifixion such as Newt Gingrich. He might get as many military leaders endorsing him as have endorsed her.

I ADMIT that there are several things Sen. Clinton has NOT done.

She did not launch her campaign taking bows for not doing something she was not in a position to do anyway. By the criteria of making Obama President because he didn't vote regarding Iraq when he WASN'T IN the Senate....hell, elect ME...I was against the war, too, AND was federally indicted as a draft resister to Vietnam, AND I even kiss boys myself AND support FULL marriage equality!!! BEDWELL FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!! No autographs, please.....

No, Sen. Clinton has not lied to the LGBT community saying she sponsored and passed an LGBT rights bill as Obama has.

She has not lied about speaking explicitly everywhere about fighting for LGBT rights as Obama has.

She has not misrepresented her positions on DOMA and “states’ rights” as Obama has.

She has not even conceived of a campaign rally starring a “poster boy for African-American ‘ex-gay’ ministries” let alone refused to cancel him when begged to and Obama did and did.

She has not publicly snapped, “Oh, come on!” when another man of color, albeit a gay man of color, suggested that her position on civil unions is “old school” as Obama did.

She has not seen fit to lecture us about the unimportance of “semantics” or how her version of civil unions should be good enough for us as Obama has.

She has not redefined “full equality” downward as Obama has. Goddess only knows how he defines right to privacy, hate crime, and equal opportunity. Does 75 cents equal a dollar in Obama World?

She has not suggested that consulting the Pentagon is appropriate to repealing DADT as Obama has.

She has never taken campaign money from the mayor of San Francisco and then refused to be photographed with him because of his association with marriage equality as Obama has. To the contrary she has repeatedly marched in the open air and sunshine of New York City’s Gay Pride Parade for all—including every homophobic potential voter—to see—even when she was First Lady. Obama gives us pretty words. Sen. Clinton gives us action.

She has not suggested increasing AIDS funding by $5 billion as Obama has. She wants at least $20 billion.

She did not wait until Obama had released a statement condemning the murder of Lawrence King to release her own as Obama did hers.

She has not refused interviews with LOGO, “The Washington Blade,” and other gay media as Obama has.

She is not distributing a 64-page “Blueprint for Change” in which not one syllable about LGBTs can be found as Obama is.

She has never allowed her staff to brand her opponent and his spouse as a racist as Obama allowed his national cochair Jesse Jackson, Jr., and his South Carolina spokeswoman to brand Sen. and Pres. Clinton and THEN claimed he knew it wasn’t true.

She does not have a close advisor who has called Obama a “monster…stooping to anything.” None of her advisors has circulated an e-mail libeling Obama so hysterical and scurrilous that one wonders about the sanity of its author.

She has never publicly questioned whether her supporters could vote for her opponent for the good of the country in the general election thus suggesting that such a selfish act might be okay with her as Obama has done.

She has never built an entire career out of creating a “blank screen” of herself upon which people can project whatever they want to believe as OBAMA has written of HIMSELF.

She has never built a campaign on the idea that one should vote for her simply because she is not her opponent.