Barack Obama's half-hour TV pitch scored with writers on the left—though one found it embarrassing to admit to being seduced by an infomercial—while those on the right were turned off:
- Saying it was hardly the "gauzy, feel-good commercial," McCain labeled it in advance, John Nichols of the Nation found it an effective expression of empathy for a hurting populace. “Obama presented a chronicle of despair,” he writes, telling stories that were "crying to be told."
- Franklin Foer of the New Republic found it "an impressively effective commercial—understated, for the most part, and filed with evocative images. It was Reaganesque in its ability to combine anecdote and policy."
- Don't tell that to Mark Steyn of the National Review, who said he couldn't connect with the downbeat anecdotes. "Aside from the fact that I don't recognize the hellhole this country apparently is, there's something faintly ridiculous in doing it in the middle of the Phillies winning the World Series."
- And Jim Wooten of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hated the “cheesy” faux-Oval Office set, the “Hollywood goes presidential” narratives, and the fact that there’s enough money in politics to produce this “Ginsu-knife-like infomercial.”