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Exclusive Obama video is anything but
A 2007 video of Obama speaking at Hampton University is being hailed by some as this election’s October surprise, but others say it’s old news.
They said it was the exclusive video that would change the game on the eve of the first presidential debate. They called it “Obama’s Other Race Speech” video. They called it a bombshell.
But some on Twitter were calling it a “yawner” as people on the Internet and others in the media pointed out that parts of an “exclusive” and forgotten speech, published by The Daily Caller and aired on Fox News Tuesday night, has been on YouTube for five years.
In June 2007 at Hampton University in Virginia, then-Sen. Barack Obama talked about race and the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. The key quote in the speech, according to the Daily Caller, was “The people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much!” During the video, Obama gives a shout-out to the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was sitting in the audience.
The video was being pushed for most of Tuesday by the Drudge Report and was promoted by Sean Hannity as a “bombshell” clip “that could dramatically impact the race for the White House.” But after it aired, it didn’t take long for people to point out that parts of the speech were already available on YouTube, including the shout-out to Wright.
According to the Daily Caller, although some clips were available online for the last five years, it was the first time these specific clips were being released to the public. The story goes on to say “Obama gave the speech in the middle of a hotly-contested presidential primary season, but his remarks escaped scrutiny. Reporters in the room seem to have missed or ignored his most controversial statements.”
But Politico reported on Tuesday evening that the shout-out to Wright was reported on in 2007 and even made a list of the top 2008 race gaffes. Politico goes on to say that Obama’s opinion about the federal government not doing enough during Katrina was also nothing new.
Reactions to the video were mixed on Twitter.
“If this unremarkable video clip is the October Surprise, it’s a real yawner,” wrote @ResistTyranny.
“Still waiting for Drudge/Fox News/Tucker Carlson to release the controversial part of Obama’s 2007 speech,” wrote @MarcsLove.
“Watching this uncovered 2007 speech from Obama. It makes me disgusted. #romneyryan2012,” wrote @SydneyCSnyder.
A spokesperson from the Obama campaign said the video was an effort by the Romney camp to move beyond the “47 percent” video that has plagued the Republican in recent weeks. Romney’s campaign said it had nothing to do with it, according to Politico.
What effect the video will have on the 2012 race has yet to be seen, but it did prove something. With the millions of videos on YouTube, there are bound to be ones that a politician would rather not have found. That could not have been more clear just a few weeks ago, when the “47 percent” video came out within days of a clip with Obama talking about redistribution.” What other skeletons does YouTube’s closet hold?
Photo via Brettcam/YouTube
Justin Franz is a Montana-based reporter and photographer who wrote about web culture for the Daily Dot. His work has more recently appeared in Flathead Living Magazine, Trains Magazine, and Travel + Leisure.