The spot skipped lightly over Obama's family history, including his Kansas mom and Kenyan dad. Instead, stirring, somber music underscored the gravity of the situations faced by four struggling families in the crippled economy. Three live in swing states - Ohio, Missouri and New Mexico - and the other in Kentucky.Really? OK, where do you stand on your campaign's credit-card fraud? How about ACORN's illegal activities? How about you pal Bill Ayers? Rashid Khalidi? How about having a press conference and answering some questions?
In Missouri, mom-of-four Rebecca Johnston opened her refrigerator to show how she parcels out her kids' snacks to make them last. The infomercial was a retrospective of Obama's campaign travels, including his convention address.
But there were mostly a sea of working-class faces in a mix of scenes: nodding as Obama spoke to them in a small group, as he sat at a kitchen table, as he toured a factory. The costly ad - a demonstration of Obama's massive financial edge over John McCain - never mentioned the GOP contender, showing him only in a clip of debate footage.
Toward the end, Obama said, "I will not be a perfect president. But I can promise you this: I will always tell you what I think and where I stand."
Can someone also explain to me why these liberals can never find anything good about America? For a guy who claims to be all about hope, he comes off awfully pessimistic.
The scenes of Obama addressing anxious Americans in living rooms might have been authentic, but they played as if they'd been staged and carefully cast.So much doom and gloom, even informercial stars panned it.
They were the kinds of gauzy images, of the candidate getting up close and personal with his supporters, that you've seen a hundred times in campaign commercials.
In the end, last night's infomercial was like watching about 30 of those commercials all in one sitting, a tough slog for anyone, whether they believe in this candidate or not.
Two leading infomercial stars agree: Barack Obama's half-hour self-promotion last night was a flop.
"I don't see enough smiling. Doom and gloom totally," said Anthony Sullivan, one of the biggest names in infomercial history.
"I feel depressed right now," added Sullivan, an Englishman famous for his infomercials touting the Swivel Sweeper and Smart Chopper. The only thing saving Obama, Sullivan said, was when the candidate appeared live at the end speaking at a rally in Florida.
"I think it needed it. I was about to throw myself through a window because it was depressing," Sullivan said.