Name That Face

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Here’s a new Obama ad, possibly put together by somebody from the Black-Eyed Peas and Bob Dylan’s kid. It’s Obama’s Iowa victory speech set to music, with various celebs singing and talking over Obama’s own delivery of the speech.

I recognized about half a dozen of the people. How many can you get? Also, what do you think of it as an ad?

I think it’s catchy and all, and will kill among young voters, but Obama already has the young voters, and I wonder about the racial make-up of the “cast.” The group Obama is not polling well among in Super Tuesday states is Latino voters, and I don’t see many Latino faces in this ad. But, like I said, there are a bunch of people in it that I don’t recognize; they may be people Latino viewers will identify with.

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37 Responses to “Name That Face”

  1. captmidknight Says:

    JU:
    You know they don’t put down the kind of money it takes to produce an ad like that without a good idea of what they want to accomplish and who they want to target, but I get the same feeling – that the “cast” and the audience it seems aimed at are ones that are already disposed to support Obama. Shoring up the base, do you think?

    I still say that several “movers and shakers” in the Black community who were in Hillary’s camp have either endorsed Obama outright or made statements critical of Clinton and their organization, partly, I think, to get in a jab at the mainstream Democratic machine. As you correctly pointed out, however, all the high profile endorsments lately have come from outside the Black community – the Kennedys and, just yesterday, I think, The Los Angeles Times, which said, among other things:
    “… it is time for US politics to close the door on two decades of rule by the Clinton and Bush dynasties.”

    I think it’s undeniable that the Clinton’s style of power politics has generated plenty of resentment and even fear, not only on the Republican side, but also within their own party over the years. Could some of the heavy hitters on the Left be smelling a little blood in the water?

    I’ll admit that I don’t relish the idea of either a President Hillary or a President Barack, but with Obama, it’s mostly on a policy level. With Hillary, it’s about equally policy and personal.

    Does that make me a bad person?

  2. urbino Says:

    Yes, but we love you, anyway.

    Shoring up the base, do you think?

    Maybe, but why would they? Obama just built his base; it shouldn’t need shoring up, and I don’t see any sign that it does. Do you? To me, it almost feels like somebody had the idea for the ad, and it was too good to pass up.

    I still say that several “movers and shakers” in the Black community who were in Hillary’s camp have either endorsed Obama outright or made statements critical of Clinton and their organization

    Well, now, that “or” adds something different than what you said before. I still can’t think of any leaders in the Black community who’ve moved from Clinton to Obama. The only Black leader I can think of who’s endorsed Obama is Oprah, and she’s more of a women’s leader than a Black leader. Who are the “movers and shakers” you’re referring to? (I really would like to know, because if I’ve heard about them, I’ve completely forgotten them.)

    Some Black leaders have criticized the Clinton campaign, definitely. Maybe you’re right that that’s some kind of jab at “the mainstream Democratic machine,” but I really think that’s the ol’ Republican in you doing some wishful thinking. The criticisms came after Bill’s race-baiting, and even then they were mild; nobody switched camps over it, as far as I know.

    I know Bartlett’s been hawking his book/theory that there’s a hidden racist tradition in the Democratic Party that African-Americans will abandon them over, if ever the African-Americans find out about it (a job Barlett seems to think he’s doing with his book). The problem is, African-Americans already know about the racism in the Democratic Party between, well, Jackson and the Civil Rights Era. Heck, everybody knows it. The problem for Bartlett (and the GOP) is that everybody also knows about The Great Switch I talked about in the earlier thread.

    That is, everybody knows that the last 150 years of political history on race in this country goes thus: the Democratic Party was the party of deep-seated racism for decades, then turned sharply away from racism and became the party of civil rights; the Republican Party was born as an abolitionist party, ended slavery, opposed Jim Crow (sort of), then became the party of racism, opposing civil rights and voting rights, and devising a political strategy based on appeals to racism, which it’s been using, now, for 50 years.

    In short, everybody already knows the story is one of the Dems starting on the wrong side of the issue, and moving quite deliberately to the right side, while the GOP started on the right side and moved quite deliberately to the wrong.

    As long as the GOP stays on the wrong side of America’s racial history, it virtually guarantees African-Americans will support Democratic candidates. Are they always going to be thrilled with their choices? Clearly not, but who is? As much as “the mainstream Democratic machine” may take them for granted, at least it doesn’t actively campaign and govern against them.

    Except for Bill, this time around. Word is, he’s going on a mini-tour of Black churches to do penance for that. My guess is that will be enough.

  3. urbino Says:

    I think it’s undeniable that the Clinton’s style of power politics has generated plenty of resentment and even fear, not only on the Republican side, but also within their own party over the years.

    I don’t think it’s their power politics that has generated resentment among Dems. Actually, that seems to be what Dems like about them — that they stick it to the Republicans, giving just as good as they get. What Dems don’t like about them is that they don’t put that style of politics to work for truly progressive policies; they get the upper hand politically, then triangulate and compromise on the policy.

  4. alsturgeon Says:

    I liked the ad, but I’m poor in the celebrity-identification game (which will suck if I move to Malibu). So I’m not much help on identifying those whom Latinos might identify with…

    But I know Mr. Jabaar!

  5. msmiranda Says:

    Wow, I feel really old and out of it — I recognized two by name (Kareem and Scarlett Johanson, who I can’t stand), and perhaps two or three others by face, but I couldn’t tell you their names or why they are famous. I thought the ad was just okay. Maybe I would have liked it more if I had recognized more of the people in it. On the other hand, the idea that Obama, or anyone, can make real change is something that I look at and say, oh, how sweet that he seems to really believe that. And that people seem to buy into it. Americans are nothing if not addicted to novelty and optimism.

    The latest polls, and the word on Obama’s campaigning, seem to indicate that at least some people are coming around to my point of view re: electability. I think Hillary’s argument that she has survived the Republican attack machine is ridiculous — she survived it in IN NEW YORK. That’s a whole different ball game from being competitive in a swing state. Sorry to get off-topic.

  6. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    “Yes, but we love you, anyway.”
    _______

    I appreciate that. Some long haired, hippie looking fellow – either Jesus or John Lennon – said that love was all we need. Maybe so, but the IRS won’t accept it at tax time.

    “To me, it almost feels like somebody had the idea for the ad, and it was too good to pass up.”
    ________
    That has to be the explaination..

    “Who are the “movers and shakers” you’re referring to? (I really would like to know, because if I’ve heard about them, I’ve completely forgotten them.)”
    _______
    Maybe just wishful thinking on my part. You know how us old folks minds can wander. I do remember Al Sharpton and a SC congressmen taking a shot or two at Bill, but not necessarily at Hillary. As far as actual “endorsements,” I imagine most of the Black leaders have enough sense to wait and see how things shake out in the next few weeks. They’re going to support the Dem nominee. The only question is: How enthusiastically?

    “Word is, he’s (Bill) going on a mini-tour of Black churches to do penance for that. My guess is that will be enough.”
    _______
    Say what you will about Bill, he’s certainly smart enough to stick with what works.

    “What Dems don’t like about them is that they don’t put that style of politics to work for truly progressive policies; they get the upper hand politically, then triangulate and compromise on the policy.”
    _____
    That’s certainly been true in the past. That’s probably why many on the Left don’t trust them. Until the rise of Obama, however, Clinton Inc was the primary Liberal game in town with a real shot at the White House, so what could they do?

    I’ve always felt that Bill’s pursuit of power has been more for it’s own sake than as a vehicle to implement policy. I think Bill needs the limelight, the fame, and the notoriety on a personal, psychological level. Even the scandals don’t seem to bother him – after all, they’re just another way to keep him in the headlines. Besides he seems to have great confidence that he can ultimately maneuver or talk his way out of them – and, so far, he has. I see no reason to believe that they won’t continue. The big question is, if she gets elected, how much will Madam President put up with?
    Hillary, on the other hand, has always struck me as tougher and much more ideological, but not nearly as personally likable or persuasive. She’s always been much closer to being a “True Believer” than Bill, and, therefore, IMHO more dangerous.

    Hopefully, I’ve once again performed one of my primary Blog functions – giving JU something to bounce off of.

    Trivia election fact:
    You have to be at least 42 years old before election time this year to have ever had a chance to vote in a presidential election that DIDN’T include either a Bush or a Clinton as a candidate. How many of you qualify?

  7. urbino Says:

    Sorry to get off-topic.

    Not off-topic at all. This is just another in a string of miscellaneous posts about the current campaigns.

    As for Obama and optimism, I think there’s reason for optimism on one count, at least. If elected, I think Obama has the potential to do for the left what Reagan did for the right. I also think that when he gets into deadlocks with the GOP in congress, he’ll have the ability, like Reagan, to go over their heads to the American people, thus forcing congress his direction. It’s hard for me to imagine Hillary being able to do that.

  8. urbino Says:

    I don’t feel too bouncy about that one, Cap’n. I don’t agree with every particular, but do with the general ideas.

    I do remember Al Sharpton and a SC congressmen taking a shot or two at Bill

    True, but Sharpton has also been critical of Obama. The SC congressman you’re talking about is almost certainly James Clyburn, who did express some unhappiness with the Clinton campaign’s racial tone. However, he carefully and explicitly avoided endorsing Obama over it.

    The only question is: How enthusiastically?

    I think that’s a question that applies with equal force to white Dems, many of whom the Clintons (primarily Bill) have very much put off this time.

  9. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    “I don’t feel too bouncy about that one, Cap’n. I don’t agree with every particular, but do with the general ideas.”
    ________
    Dang! Must be losing my touch.

    Not long till game time.

  10. urbino Says:

    The best thing about that is it finally brings an end to all the hype.

  11. mrspeacock Says:

    I recognized about half a dozen of the people. How many can you get?
    Oh my. John Legend(!), will.i.am, Kareem, Adam Rodriguez (who’s Latino, by the way), Harold Perrineau, Aisha Tyler, Scarlett, Brain Greenberg, Kate Walsh, Amuary Nolasco (also Latino), Amber Valetta, the LIVE frontman, and Nick Cannon. See, this is why I post about music and movies.

    In terms of advertising, Barack is light years ahead of the other candidates. His logo alone proves that. Is this a bonafide ad, though? It doesn’t really seem so to me. But it’s fantastic.

    You have to be at least 42 years old before election time this year to have ever had a chance to vote in a presidential election that DIDN’T include either a Bush or a Clinton as a candidate. How many of you qualify?
    Not me. I read this great quote from a Memphis lady in the Commercial Appeal: “I think in my lifetime, you’ve gotta tell me that there’s more than just two families that can run our country.”

    Scarlett Johanson, who I can’t stand
    That’s hilarious. I’m tempted to ask why, but it’s almost funnier this way.

  12. mrspeacock Says:

    Question. Can you vote in TN on Super Tuesday if you’re not registered with a party?

  13. urbino Says:

    I recognized the following people in the ad:

    Kareem, Scarlett, Kelly Hu, Herbie Hancock, and Nick Cannon.

    I’m told Alanis Morrisette is in it, but I didn’t recognize her. Also, Marlee Matlin. I assume she’s the one signing, but I didn’t recognize her. In fact, when I saw the woman signing, I actually thought, “Why didn’t they get Marlee Matlin?”

  14. urbino Says:

    Can you vote in TN on Super Tuesday if you’re not registered with a party?

    Yes. TN has open primaries.

  15. mrspeacock Says:

    In fact, when I saw the woman signing, I actually thought, “Why didn’t they get Marlee Matlin?”
    Me too. She looks 15 years old! I’m ashamed that I didn’t recognize Herbie. But I’m confident Alanis wasn’t in there.

  16. urbino Says:

    Is this a bonafide ad, though? It doesn’t really seem so to me.

    Depends what you mean by bona fide. Vernon T. Waldrop is bona fide, and he’s not an ad at all.

    That’s actually an excellent question. I’m not sure where this “ad” fits in. I don’t know if a shorter version is being run on tv anywhere, nor is it clear to me what its connection to the Obama campaign is, if any.

    A quick google suggests it was an independent product, but appeared on Obama’s website for a while.

  17. urbino Says:

    Extremely briefly, near the end, there’s a single flash of some tallish-seeming white guy with short, dark hair, playing an acoustic guitar. Looked sort of Dave Matthews-ish, but too tall. Who is that?

    I’m confident Alanis wasn’t in there.

    Who’s the woman with the little girl? She looked really familiar, but I couldn’t figure out who she was. Might that be Alanis?

  18. urbino Says:

    Amber Valetta

    That name vaguely rings a bell, like maybe I’ve seen her on Letterman or something. Is she the singing one with the long, straight hair and the cleavage?

  19. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    “Depends what you mean by bona fide. Vernon T. Waldrop is bona fide, and he’s not an ad at all.”
    _______
    My compliments. A truly inspired reference from one of my all time favorite movies. For a Hollywood liberal, George Clooney made a hysterical redneck.

  20. urbino Says:

    That, he did. The movie is also one of my favorites.

  21. mrspeacock Says:

    To answer two questions at once, the woman holding the little girl is Amber Valetta. The long haired gal sounds like Natasha Bedingfield, but I’m not positive on that one.

    No clue who the Dave Matthews guy is.

  22. mrspeacock Says:

    Apparently, the song/video is an independent thing, not an advertisement from the Obama campaign. Will.i.am was inspired by the speech to write a song. He and some friends called up their friends, shot, recorded, and edited the thing, then posted it online. Nifty, eh?

  23. urbino Says:

    Nifty, I reckon.

    The long haired gal sounds like Natasha Bedingfield

    She looks like a “Natasha Bedingfield,” now that you mention it.

    Thanks for clearing up the Amber Valetta confusion.

  24. captmidknight Says:

    Two even more obscure and irrelevant bits of election trivia:

    You would have to be at least 69 years old to have voted for the last sitting senator to be elected President. If Senator McCain wins the Republican nomination, 2008 will be the first time in American History where sitting senators have opposed each other in a two party election.

    You would have to be at least 77 years old to have voted in the last presidential election without either a sitting president or vice-president as a candidate.

  25. urbino Says:

    And you probably have to be at least 40 to remember an NFL team that went undefeated.

  26. captmidknight Says:

    “And you probably have to be at least 40 to remember an NFL team that went undefeated.”

    It was a heck of a game! Being a Washington Redskins fan, I had to lean towards the NFC East team. I imagine there will be a significent amount of money change hands in Vegas and elsewhere on this one.

    What’s next for the Manning brothers? I guess playing each other in the next Super Bowl.

  27. urbino Says:

    Yeah, it was the best SB I can remember in a long, long time.

  28. urbino Says:

    The site now lists the people in the Obama video, Mrs. P. No Natasha Bedingfield, and still no idea who the tallish white guy was.

  29. msmiranda Says:

    Why is it funny that I can’t stand Scarlett Johanson (sp?)? No specific reason, I just found Lost in Translation really annoying (to the consternation of the masses who found it so brilliant) and nothing she’s done since has redeemed her. My other “can’t stand her” is Halle Berry. Again, don’t know why, something about her just annoys me. But in general, it’s rare for me to come to dislike someone I don’t know. Most of the celebrities that other people dislike I just feel sorry for.

  30. msmiranda Says:

    Since you’re so knowledgeable about pop culture, Mrs. P, could you give me a run-down of the people in the commercial and why they are famous? I imagine that most of them must be actors in television programs or young musicians, since that’s where my knowledge is lacking. I did recognize the deaf girl from Weeds, but I watch very little network television.

  31. msmiranda Says:

    Oh, and I definitely would have noticed if Alanis Morissette had been in there. That’s someone from my day. Damn, I feel old again.

  32. mrspeacock Says:

    Why is it funny that I can’t stand Scarlett Johanson?
    I dunno. I guess I’ve just never heard anyone say that couldn’t stand Scartlett. Tom Cruise, yes. Scarlett, no. But everyone is entitled to their opinion. For instance, I can’t stand Paula Deen or the OxiClean guy.

    Here’s the list of famous folks with descriptions of the ones I know:
    Adam Rodriguez – actor on Urbino’s favorite show CSI: Miami
    Alfonso Ribeiro – Ha! I didn’t recognize him, but he’s Carlton from Fresh Prince
    Amaury Nolasco – actor on Prison Break
    Amber Valetta – supermodel and actress
    Auden Mccaw – Amber Valetta’s kid
    Anson Mount
    Austin Nichols
    Aisha Tyler – actress, used to host Talk Soup
    Bryan Greenberg – actor in October Road
    Cliff Collins
    Common – rapper
    Derek Watkins
    Ed Kowalczyk – singer/guitarist for Live
    Enrique Murciano – actor on Without a Trace
    Eric Balfour
    Eric Olsen
    Esthero
    Fred Goldring
    Harold Perrineau – actor on Lost
    Herbie Hancock – musician
    Hill Harper
    John Legend – singer/musician (he’s the high male voice)
    John Schaech
    Kareem Abdul Jabbar – bball player
    Kate Walsh – actress on Grey’s Anatomy (boo) and Private Practice
    Kelly Hu – actress
    Maya Rubin
    Nick Cannon – actor/comedian
    Nicole Scherzinger
    Sam Page
    Sarah Wright
    Scarlett Johannson – actress and wannabe singer
    Shoshannah Stern
    Taryn Manning – actress and singer (crappy at both, in my opinion)
    Tatyana Ali – Ooooh yes, Ashley from Fresh Prince. She sings, too!
    Tracee Ellis Ross -actress on Girlfriends (don’t ask me why I know this)
    will.i.am – Black Eyed Peas guy

  33. urbino Says:

    actor on Urbino’s favorite show CSI: Miami

    Vote for Obama, or he’ll take his sunglasses off. Do you want him to take his sunglasses off, punk? Well, do ya? (Hint: you don’t.)

    actress and wannabe singer

    This, I didn’t know. I was quite stunned when she sang a little on the video.

    actress on Girlfriends (don’t ask me why I know this)

    I’d have to ask you what it is, first.

    John Legend’s voice reminds me a lot of somebody else’s, but I can’t place it. Whoever it is, though, that’s who I thought was singing those parts, since I don’t know Legend by sight or sound.

  34. urbino Says:

    Also, I recognized the guy who played the wheelchair-bound narrator on Oz, but I don’t know his name. Is it Harold Perrineau?

  35. mrspeacock Says:

    This, I didn’t know. I was quite stunned when she sang a little on the video.
    Rumor has it she’s releasing an album of Tom Waits covers. I object on many levels.

    Also, I recognized the guy who played the wheelchair-bound narrator on Oz, but I don’t know his name. Is it Harold Perrineau?
    Yup.

  36. urbino Says:

    Rumor has it she’s releasing an album of Tom Waits covers.

    Gadzooks.

    I mean, I sorta see it, in that she has a husky voice. But, OTOH, Tom Waits? For your first album? When music is, at best, a side gig for you?

  37. mrspeacock Says:

    Exactly. I have yet to hear her truly sing anything, so I haven’t a clue how it will turn out. People could die over it. Or they could die from it.

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