Obama attack video: Too "cool" to be president

President Obama as portrayed in American Crossroads attack video, "cool" YouTube/American Crossroads

YouTube/American Crossroads

American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-linked group that with its sister organization Crossroads GPS is hoping to spend $240 million helping Republicans get elected in the 2012 campaign cycle, is out with a new web video attacking President Obama as more focused on being "cool" than doing the serious business of running the country.

The spot, which is called "cool," shows the president dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, criticizing Kanye West, "slow jamming the news" with Jimmy Fallon, drinking a beer and singing an Al Green song.

Interspersed with the images, these words appear on the screen: "Four years ago, America elected the biggest celebrity in the world. And America got one cool president. But after four years of a celebrity president, 1 in 2 recent college grads are jobless or underemployed. 85 percent moving back in with their parents. Student loan debt exceeds one trillion dollars."

It concludes: "After four years of a celebrity president, is your life any better?"

The web video is reminiscent of an attack ad called "Celebrity" from John McCain's campaign four years ago. In that ad, images from Mr. Obama's huge and rapturously-received July 2008 speech in Berlin were interspersed with images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad posited Obama as "the biggest celebrity in the world," with a narrator asking, "But is he ready to lead?"

Americans tend to relate to Mr. Obama more than his presumptive general election opponent, Mitt Romney: In the latest CBS News/New York Times poll earlier this month, about half of respondents said they could relate to the president, while only 34 percent said they could relate to Romney.

Crossroads' line of attack seems designed in part to challenge that perception: You may think you can relate to him, it suggests, but in truth he's just another wealthy celebrity living a life you can only dream of.

The Crossroads video comes amid a push from the president to reenergize the young voters who helped him to victory in 2008, an effort which also included stops on college campuses and that much-buzzed-about Fallon appearance this week. Mr. Obama plans to formally kick off his campaign on May 5 at a pair of swing state universities - Ohio State and Virginia Commonwealth - and has been spotlighting his effort to keep the interest rate for Stafford student loans from increasing on at the end of June.

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