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Creator of Anti-Hillary "1984" Video Revealed

After weeks of speculation about who created the Orwellian, anti-Hillary Clinton ad, we now seem to know the answer.

It was Philip de Vellis, a former staffer for Sen. Sherrod Brown's campaign and, until today, an employee of Blue State Digital.

Just minutes after the news first hit Huffington Post, the Obama campaign released a statement that said in part: "We were notified this evening by a vendor of ours, Blue State Digital, that an employee of the company had been involved in the making of this ad. Blue State Digital has separated ties with this individual and we have been assured he did no work on our campaign's account." The statement did not mention de Vellis by name. Blue State Digital is a Democratic Internet strategy company.

De Vellis didn't return calls from The Post's Anne Kornblut for comment, but he posted a statement on Huffington Post confirming the video was his work. "I made the 'Vote Different' ad because I wanted to express my feelings about the Democratic primary, and because I wanted to show that an individual citizen can affect the process," he wrote.

Obama's campaign had previously denied that anyone affiliated with the campaign was responsible for the ad, which has already garnered nearly 1.6 million hits on Youtube. Speculation that the Obama camp was involved came from the fact that Blue State Digital is under contract to provide consulting services to Obama and Joe Roespars, a founding partner in the firm, is Obama's new media director.

That claim was reiterated tonight. "The Obama campaign and its employees had no knowledge and had nothing to do with the creation of the ad," read the statement from spokesman Bill Burton. "Blue State Digital has separated ties with this individual and we have been assured he did not work on our campaign's account."

Will that be enough? Or did the Obama camp get caught playing too cute by half with this video? We'll be following the story closely over the next 24 hours. Here's more background on the video.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 21, 2007; 8:12 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Hillary isn't unknown person at an angle. She was the co-president, and the de facto president within at least 1999-2000(after the partial impeachment. Many people watched themselves what she is really about. I was among these people, and I am not surprised that she is compared in this movie clit to neo-nazi. She was a supporter and inspirer os numerous white supremacy groups within her co-presidency and de facto presidency. At that point of view, she is, probably, the most dangerous person to get to the top power. Obama knows it, as many, many others do. The people who placed this video clip aren't from Obama campaign, as I, for example, isn't from this campaign, but could have created the similar clip, if I would.Once again, what Mrs. Clinton is saying or ever was saying is fading in comparison to what she had been doing within her copresidency and de facto presidency, and that actions were very far from being nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 26, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, people are dying in the oil War, the environment is vanishing before our eyes, we are entering a Nixonian GonzalesGate coverup, etc. ad nauseum.

Posted by: Lu Franklin | March 23, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that everyone is looking for Obama to disavow and denounce this ad. It doesn't state any errors of fact. It makes no personal attacks on any candidate. And Obama had NOTHING to do with it.

Now, what is most interesting is that there was no outcry for Bush to denounce the Swift Boat ads. Everyone said "well, it was done by an independent group and everyone is entitled to their opinion. there's no need for Bush to denounce something he did not do".

It doesn't surprise me that the MSM will grasp at anything they can in an effort to discredit Obama. what does surprise me is that the Clinton campaign is jumping on this bandwagon. Its really sad. She's had no positive coverage lately and she's trying desperately to get some. Hillary and the MSM, find something of substance to talk about!


Posted by: PeixeGato | March 22, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Wes--"That is why all candidate statements are greeted with skepticism in the media until they can be verified or debunked."


Posted by: roo | March 22, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Chris wonders, "Will that be enough? Or did the Obama camp get caught playing too cute by half with this video?"

"Caught"? - The Obama campaign has said it did not produce the ad. The man who claims to have produced the ad (ParkRidge47) has said the Obama campaign knew nothing about it until it was posted. PR47 claims that he is a supporter of Senator Obama who until a few days ago worked for a web firm that is or has been under contract to several Democratic campaigns, including Senator Obama's. However, he has said he made the ad as a freelancer: Neither his now-former employer nor any campaign knew of his activities.

As far as I can tell, no campaign has been "caught." Of course, as we have seen all too clearly in recent years, some campaigns, candidates, and office holders dissemble and spin as a way of life. That is why all candidate statements are greeted with skepticism in the media until they can be verified or debunked. However, in this instance, is any such verification possible? Unless there is a big release of paper like we saw recently from the Justice Department or some other evidence of collusion between a campaign and this web designer, all we have to go on are their public statements about the matter.

There are three reasons that this ad is in the news and is worthy of serious discussion:

1 - It is very effective and memorable, as the original 1984 ad was. This piece evokes the tensions in the Clinton-Obama race and makes its pro-Obama point very well. (Incidentally, it is more effective than anything I've seen Mr. Shrum produce in his many years of work for Democratic candidates. Personally, I would have put Dick Cheney's face on the big screen rather than Senator Clinton's, but I didn't think of this idea.)

2 - Our country is trying to discern how new technologies and means of mass communication will and should affect the political process. PR47 correctly notes in his blog post, "This ad was not the first citizen ad, and it will not be the last. The game has changed." In fact, the game is wide open. Candidate message control, a mark of successful campaigns, is getting tougher and tougher as ads and arguments like this one boil up from the blogosphere and throw them off message. Anybody can post anything and put anybody's name or picture on it. Everyone else in the sphere can respond as they wish, or not at all. It's all free speech. All the campaigns know this and they are learning to fight on a new terrain. Thus, it is quite appropriate to ask whether a campaign surreptitiously posted an ad that draws attention, but at the same time it is unfair to ask campaigns to take responsibility for the public statements of their supporters if they did not directly prompt those statements. PR47 could have saved his favored candidate a bit of difficulty if he had made clear in the ad itself that it was not endorsed or developed by any campaign. Perhaps PR47 left this statement out intentionally or perhaps he did not think of including it. Whatever the reason, we now have a fresh example, after the Edwards blog kerfuffle, of how unregulated and untraceable but potentially influential web tools and forums can be. Campaigns and partisan individuals are entering unmapped territory. Even our meek federal campaign laws have public disclosure provisions for "mass media" but they have no conception of You Tube or "the Google." Most political organizations have to identify themselves as the makers or funders of advertising. That provision exists to create a modicum of openness and transparency in the election season. Otherwise, one campaign could simply make statements in another campaign's name. As we saw in 2004, this page is still in the dirty-tricks handbook. Send voters to the wrong polling place, claim Candidate Smith or Jones endorsed clubbing puppies, get a negative message in circulation and watch it grow. The blogosphere is a tide of invective, opinion, reasoned debate, lies, misrepresentations, accusation, spin, and fact. Fools and prophets can type equally fast. It is a free public space and little-d democrats ought to celebrate it. But beware all who enter. It is also an ugly, nasty place, where muck and cynicism are indigenous.

3 - Is Obama for real? Senator Obama is a skilled communicator and he has challenged the Democratic Party status quo as well as the tone of U.S. politics. He is a new face and he is under intense scrutiny, both by his opponents and his supporters. Both recognize his charisma and potential electoral appeal. Opponents want to knock him down, supporters want to know if he is for real. Is he just another politician? Does he lie and spin and pander like a professional politician? Or is he a different kind of person? The wind in Obama's sails will fade quickly if his novelty wears off or if he is seen as fake or corrupt or hypocritical or without real principles. If he is those things, it would be sad for those of us who support him, but at least he would then have the kind of experience that is honored inside the Beltway.

(All rights reserved. Do not use without attribution.)

Posted by: Wes from GA (Obama supporter) | March 22, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It's very creative as ad goes even if it borrows from Apple circa 1984.

And, had this ad been created by anyone not directly affiliated to Mr. Barack in any ways, this ad would follow all the rules of freedom of speech.

But, because this person was an employee of a firm tied to Mr. Barack, I am in agreement of this person being fired.

The proper course of action would have been to submit this work to whoever is in charge for approval.

As far as Mr. Barack goes, he can't take responsibility for this, he could always fire Blue State Digital, but since they fired their employee. It's pretty much moot point.

People who think he should be either outraged or should be banning this ad, think again. Overall, this is all about freedom of speech, freedom of rights.

All Mr. Barack can say, in my honest opinion, is that he can agree or disagree with the ad, but he must nevertheless respect whoever did it.

It's democracy folks.. We must learn sometimes to agree to disagree... :)

Posted by: C Gauthier | March 22, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza,

De Vellis says on his article on the Huffington Post that he resigned to avoid putting Blue State Digital in a complicated position and that he was not asked to leave. Do you know or have evidence to the contrary, are you assuming, or are you reading between the lines?

Posted by: CC | March 22, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

This isn't as simple as someone making a video on his own time. As an employee of a political organization, this guy did something that has ramifications for the campaigns that Blue State Digital works for. Liken it to a person who drives a truck and gets a DUI while on his own time. The company can't continue to employ that person, because their insurance premiums will skyrocket. Likewise, Blue State Digital could find it prohibitavely difficult to find new clients if it is believed that one of their employees might go maverick and release something that could be detrimental to their campaign.

By the way, don't get shocked if the Clinton campaign was behind this. How do you destroy a candidate's image as a positive, "new kind of politics" campaigner? By making it look like he is willing to savage his opponent(s).

Posted by: JamesCH | March 22, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

What bothers me is that a private citizen can make a video in his/her part time. A video so that he/she can exercise his/her right of free speech and he/she can be fired for it. If this individual did not use company resources and was exercising his right to criticize those in positions of government how can he be fired. I would like to see the ACLU actually get involved.

Posted by: Wer2Chosen | March 22, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"So much for the Obama being a "different kind of candidate"' Did Obama do something that you'd like to point out, or are you hoping the implication that's he's done something wrong will suffice?

Posted by: justsaying | March 22, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

What dirty work? What about this ad was even the slightest bit dirty?

Posted by: Blarg | March 22, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

So much for the Obama being a "different kind of candidate". The Geffen and de Vellis attacks indicate that Obama is just as ruthless as the rest. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the balls to do the dirty work himself.

Posted by: JoeCHI | March 22, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Did you read the article? Obama didn't make the ad. It was made by an employee of a company that worked for several campaigns, including Obama's. And he made it on his own time.

You're still implying that there's something wrong with this ad. Can you explain what the problem is? This isn't like the ads that compared Bush to Hitler, or lied about Kerry's military record, or implied that John McCain had an out-of-wedlock black baby. There was nothing offensive at all in the ad. So what's the problem?

Posted by: Blarg | March 22, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Give it a rest already people. First, you choose to come to this blog so quit complaining about Chris being anti-Obama. Don't like it, don't come. Second, it's a youtube video not the friggin Watergate Tapes. Some guy got bored and re-created a classic commercial and Obama is under no obligation to refute, apologize for or denounce it until someone comes across an email from Obama himself saying "please make a YouTube video making HRH look like big brother" it's a non story.

Posted by: snapper | March 22, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Why should anyone apologize for this ad?"

I agree blarg, Obama is just using technology to his advantage, while allowing someone else to take the fall. He's no dummy.

Maybe drindl will now apologize for her knee-jerk reaction two days ago, although I rather doubt it. Here's her typical left-wing tool comment:

"i agree/suspect it could well have been made by republicans to discredit both her and obama."

Posted by: drindl | March 20, 2007 08:48 AM

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Anyway, what's the issue here? Is there an issue? Why so much frenzy from the Obama team? They should be thankful for such a piece!

In a democratic-assumed political campaign, any voter is free to campaign for any candidate and against any candidate he or she feels like. I think this guy made a terrific work and it was one great idea.

This won't only enrich the campaign but will give it a new dimension: not only the official campaign exists. It will be like: "Oh my! Voters exist!"

Posted by: ericjms | March 22, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

why should he make any comment on the video? to condemn it is to condemn free speech.

this type of media overhype is why campaigns shouldn't start until the end of the year immediately preceding the election.

everybody needs to toss their talking points and go watch some basketball tonight.

Posted by: b | March 22, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Why should anyone apologize for this ad? It wasn't offensive. It didn't include any lies about the candidates. It wasn't slanderous. It was just a standard political ad, albeit an especially notable one. What's the big deal?

Posted by: Blarg | March 22, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The "new politics" folks ought to give it a rest. Your outrage is blotted out by your overt desire to nick Obama. Now the standard appears to be if he doesn't strongly denounce every single negative anonymous video about Sen. Clinton, he's a fraud. Should he endorse Hillary to show he's for a new type of politics? Hell, even Hillary didn't condemn the ad.

Posted by: Well | March 22, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Where's the beef? I mean, what a big so what. The guy got fired. He said he did it on his own. Why should anyone from either campaign respond?

Sure are looking hard for something pin on both of them, aren't you folks?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I fail to see what the big deal is here. The only thing it shows is the high degree of knowledge available on the internet, that is available to all.

Posted by: lyleink | March 22, 2007 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Here's what I wrote about this on my part-time blog:


A++ for clinton
March 22nd, 2007 by tony_daysog

The identity of the person behind the infamous "1984″ video against Hillary Clinton has been a mystery since the Youtube ad first came out in February. Until now, that is.

Huffingtonpost put out an all-points bulletin recently and succeeded in fingering the perp. Judging by high-fives on that and other blogs, as well as east coast-to-west coast media coverage, Parkridge47 (aka Phil De Vellis) has earned his place in the political advertising hall of fame for producing "1984″, putting him in the company of the famous (Daisy) and the infamous (Willie Horton).

Yet, Parkridge47 won't be alone as he takes his well-earned victory lap around the figurative track of blog write-ups and interviews on morning TV shows and evening news: Hillary Clinton will also be taking a well-deserved victory lap right next to Parkridge47.

Time will show that what started out as an innovative (and admittedly humorous) attempt at demonizing Clinton as a gross Big Brother caricature, ultimately backfired. Instead of going ballistic, Clinton and her team kept calm, even showing an ability to genuinely laugh at themselves about this and Youtube generally.

About "1984″, ABC News Jake Tapper quotes Clinton as saying, "I'm pleased that it seems to be taking attention away from what used to be on YouTube and getting a lot of hits, namely me singing 'The Star Spangled Banner.' Everybody in the world now knows I can't carry a tune."

Through it all, Clinton showed class and, as important, Character. And it is this that the vast majority of Democrats will remember come primary season 2008.

Posted by: tony_daysog | March 22, 2007 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Obama was gloating while the Youtube posting was getting 100000 hits per day! When it blew up on his face he feigned ignorance and disowned the ad. His agency Blue State Digital claimed Philip de Vellis was free lancing and produced the ad of his own volition! Talk about finding a scapegoat! If Obama's campaign is uncoordinated what will the voter believe as any controversial statement will be disowned by him, willing to strike but afraid to hurt?

Obama's handlers have been spinning explanations to show how steadfast (and prescient) Obama was in opposing the Iraq war, even when on Larry King Live Obama admitted "I DO NOT KNOW" when asked how he would have voted if he had the same intelligence inputs US Senators like Hillary had!!!! His spin doctors have no answer to the fact that after he became US Senator, Obama has voted identically with Hillary on Iraq related issues - in effect to establish a "distinction without a difference"

Obama reeks of hypocrisy and sanctimonious humbug when he talks about a "new morality" while covertly supporting dirty attacks on Hillary! Alas, his self imposed "moral halo" has slipped so fast so soon!

Posted by: Hari Padmanabhan | March 22, 2007 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Obama was gloating while the Youtube posting was getting 100000 hits per day! When it blew up on his face he feigned ignorance and disowned the ad. His agency Blue State Digital claimed Philip de Vellis was free lancing and produced the ad of his own volition! Talk about finding a scapegoat! If Obama's campaign is uncoordinated what will the voter believe as any controversial statement will be disowned by him, willing to strike but afraid to hurt?

Obama's handlers have been spinning explanations to show how steadfast (and prescient) Obama was in opposing the Iraq war, even when on Larry King Live Obama admitted "I DO NOT KNOW" when asked how he would have voted if he had the same intelligence inputs US Senators like Hillary had!!!! His spin doctors have no answer to the fact that after he became US Senator, Obama has voted identically with Hillary on Iraq related issues - in effect to establish a "distinction without a difference"

Obama reeks of hypocrisy and sanctimonious humbug when he talks about a "new morality" while covertly supporting dirty attacks on Hillary! Alas, his self imposed "moral halo" has slipped so fast so soon!

Posted by: Hari Padmanabhan | March 22, 2007 2:34 AM | Report abuse

So now Senators are supposed to apologize for every idiotic thing that a private citizen does? Is that what you want your government personnel spending their valuable time on? How about focusing on real issues instead playing the blame game?

Posted by: Scott | March 22, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

When it is not "acceptable" to use a politician's own words to show the inner workings of said politician, one really has to be in the USA.

Hillary Clinton... a fascist
Obama Barrack... a religious nut

... and then there is the republican side, which is 10 times worse.

What will it be America? A new warcriminal for the blood stained white house? It's been that way by you folks for decades, why should this time be any different?

Posted by: Tuddi | March 22, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Hitlery is TOAST.

Posted by: Bilbo | March 22, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Yaaawwnnn! This is offensive? Just wait until this fall and next spring if you want to see offensive.

Posted by: mikeasr | March 22, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

How disappointing. I was hoping the RNC was behind the ad.

Posted by: jessicanaomi | March 22, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

The news tonight is that John Edward's wife, has had a relapse of cancer. If that is true, and he drops out (and he liely will, he isn't a "fake" spouse like many of the other candidates and genuinely loves his wife) then we are well and truely screwed. Obama, for all of his promise, is just too young. Hillary isn't even under consideration, having sold her soul to outsourcing, guest worker programs and multinational corporations, which leave us almost nowhere. Well, Bill Richardson certainly is starting to look better and better to me, even given his insane stance on illegal immigrants....

Posted by: MikeB | March 22, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

WHy is it such a surpirse NOW that politicans are attacking eachother?
is it because they are on the "same side"?
Frankly WHO CARES??. . .as a First time Leftist Voter. . .
all this "HOLLYWOOD HYPE/TYPE DRAMA" is making me seriously considering McCain for 2008.
Aren`t ads supposed to entice you as the public?. .
or change your views of the opposing `team'?

Posted by: Missy Perez | March 22, 2007 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with De Vellis politics, but I agree that every individual voter can make a difference. You can too.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. We already have volunteers from all 50 states. Join the movement!

Posted by: Chester Goad | March 22, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

sb, it didn't change my opinion of clinton, but i thought it was funny. (i had already planned to vote for someone else anyway.)

Posted by: meuphys | March 21, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

US President Joe Rospars, US Senate Joe Rospars, US House Joe Rospars: best major candidate.

Posted by: Tim Kalemkarian | March 21, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the forum.

Shame on those of you that seem to condone bad behavior. In this country age twenty-one
marks the year of absolute adult responsibility. Citizens with good moral values find dirty politics disgusting. American citizens are not so gullible anymore. They have been forced to open their eyes.

Posted by: Charles V. Greene | March 21, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Since he has Joe Rospars, one of Blue State Digital's four founding partners, on his payroll, how could he tell people with a straight face that his campaign doesn't have the capability to produce the smear attack ad?

Posted by: obama lied | March 21, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, he may have lost his job, but you can see the job offers coming quickly! Doubt he'll need to visit Instant celebrity!

The real investigation should not be into who violated Apple's copyrights, but who started the idea that the video is "powerful."

I mean, come on! Some reporter got the opinion of a single person who said it was so powerful, like a watershed moment in politics; then the hype continues into a frenzy. Which was silly.

The real issue of power is not how many people watched it, but how many people changed their mind re. Clinton.

We're back to square 1 on internet power. They used to judge a site's success on traffic; then somebody asked, What about conversions (sales)?


How many news reporters who push the vid as powerful have got a poll result to go with the assertion?

Q1. Did you think the video was powerful?

Q2. Did it change your mind re HC?

So give the guy a new job, get your polls in, and let's move on to something more interesting.

Posted by: SB | March 21, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

In the end, is this ad really going to change anyone's mind? Isn't that the goal of an ad? What good is a campaign ad if it doesn't persuade?

Posted by: Miguel Cabrera | March 21, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Joe Rospars, the Obama campaign new media director, was one of Blue State Digital's four founding partners.

Posted by: breaking news | March 21, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Substance from the Republicans? Nah... I agree with that criticism of the right. Spin is the most dangerous thing you can do in politics, and both sides do it incessently like it can't harm them. How about the Republicans admit that the purpose of the war is to reach a stalemate, and stir up the Arabs, and keep them tripping over their own feet (which they do rather well, don't they?). Ok, we've done all of that, so let's call it quits sometime soon, eh? As for this "democracy for the Iraqi people"... I mean, it would be great if the Iraqi people had a free and democratic government, and peace in the streets and the kids could go back to school and the moms and dads go back to work. Not a single American doesn't want that for them--of course we all do. But it isn't very likely, is it? So we are back to the Vietnam question. Mr. President, what is the exit strategy?

Posted by: conservative | March 21, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

The person who created this ad is fired? I beg some reasonable presidential candidate to hire him and do these torpedo ads. Obama need not apologise even if he or his campaign is aware of this.

Great job Philip, for the great Torpedo Ad. Keep up your good work and keep things rolling.

Posted by: srikanth | March 21, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

H versus O and O against excruciatingly unimportant. It's time to wind up the cat and put out the clock for those of us who must arrive at work early in the morning and pay the taxes to provide for the welfare state advocated by H and O (or by O and H, which ever falls out of the burlap bag first).

Posted by: Who Cares Why, What, or When | March 21, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

It's an EDITORIAL article. Chris likes Hillary. Or doesn't like Obama. Regardless, Bluestate is a subcontracted agency of the Democratic PARTY, not just Obama (look at the company's freakin name!). But one thing Chris fails to address, however, is how much work have they done on Hillary's behalf? That one detail was suspiciously omitted. There's about 2° of separation in this crowd; it's all one big in-bred party anyways.

Be sure to keep us all updated the next 24hrs there buddy, it's a nice distraction from whatever the R's fiasco-of-the-day happens to be.

☺ And remember kids, It's a LENIENT Police-state! ☺

Posted by: Jimbo Jones | March 21, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, I agree with conservative's first post in this thread about this not being all that bad as attack ads go, not necessarily his subsequent ones that appeared after I stared typing mine and was interrupted by a phone call.

Posted by: J. Crozier | March 21, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

will obama be content with being a superior product with a six percent market share?

Posted by: runaway | March 21, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

"substantial debate and discussion of issues is a whole lot healthier than mudslinging over ittsie bitsie youtube ditties."

this was posted by "conservative." really. you know, a representative of the party so well known for substantial debate and discussion of issues.

hee hee.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with "conservative". Also, after putting in a bit more thought on my first comment, I hate to admit it but I think I jumped the gun a little bit on my criticism of Chris. I've had a busy week and completely forgot that there is an actual endorsement of Obama in the ad at the end until I watched it again.

I also agree with "Lar" above. Obama should not feel obligated to apologize for something that someone else said. It isn't his job to defend Hillary if she can't defend herself.

Posted by: J, Crozier | March 21, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

where is it written that once you become a candidate, you are all-seeing? i don't find it hard at all to believe that obama knew nothing about this ad until it was on youtube. yet those who level this accusation are indignant at any suggestion that hillary leaked the madrasa rumor a month or so ago... and that seems to me to be much easier to believe. they aren't running for saint, people, and this is unfortunately what political campaigns are becoming. especially post-internet, and post-swift boat. we should all thank george'n'karl for this development.

as far as the ad goes: it's clever, it's funny, and as anyone who has heard hillary's machine-like drone repeating the same points over and over again can attest, it maybe hits a little too close to home for clinton supporters to be comfortable with. does it add to the viewer's understanding of the issues facing politicians and their positions on them? no. does ANY political ad these days? no. so i guess i would say, point for obama - but not a fatal blow to hillary... although by whining about it, her team only draws attention to it and makes the impact worse for her.

Posted by: meuphys | March 21, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe de Veliis knows something we don't? Either way, as someone mentioned it was quite an interesting video. (I remembered the original when it first aired on TV.)

Can't wait for the sequel with John McCain as General Patton and Hillary as Eva Braun in a pair of pink hotpants. Yeah! I'd buy that for a dollar.

Posted by: Redstone | March 21, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The reason the anti-Kerry ad succeeded was even deeper: It was that Kerry stuck his neck out by trying to claim he was something he could not substantiate, given his anti-Vietnam war reputation. Had he avoided the image spinning as a war hero, and instead had stuck to a very credible anti-war stance, he had a reasonable chance for the presidency--but instead, he tried to 'spin' one time too many, and he lost credibility. Where so many campaigns, liberal an conservative alike, seem to destroy themselves is with the belief that "if it can be spun, it can be won." Nonsense--the majority of the electorate is far more intellegent, and the majority rules. To borrow a phrase, "its substance, stupid."

Posted by: conservative | March 21, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Frankly...I do not care at all who did the ad. I found it an amusing usage of one of the most dynamic pieces of advertising created whether pre or post internet.

Posted by: John | March 21, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

May Obama and Hillary along with their groupies, parasites, and mindless fawning servants continue to decimate one another in regressive leftist idiocy. Meanwhile, I have a devoted family to provide for, children to love and mentor, a wife to cherish, a demanding job in which I pay enormous taxes to support my Nation (even the leftist scum), and a spring garden to tend. Guess who has the healthiest, most productive lifestyle.

Posted by: Man | March 21, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with neocon s.., from the opposite side of the isle even. The supporters of both Clinton and Obama need to deal with more substance than this or they will rather quickly destroy their own campaigns. Of course, I must admit being rather amused that they appear unable to do so... but that is just because I am on the other side. It really is rather sad, since substantial debate and discussion of issues is a whole lot healthier than mudslinging over ittsie bitsie youtube ditties. Enjoy the limelight, because it will soon shine on someone else...

Posted by: conservative | March 21, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

The reason the anti-Kerry Ad succeeded was for two reasons.
1. Senator Kerry doesn't fit the mold of a ex-elite war hero who remains quite athletic.
The same thing happened to Gore, despite the fact he was a college QB, and Bush was a Cheerleader, Bush convevied a false image that was stronger than reality and the PRess went along like Lap Dogs because they found Gore Boring.
2. Lots of people don't believe the truth that of the people elected to Congress 2x as many of Democrats served in war time military positions as compared to Republicans. Democratic War Heros don't fit the stero type, when you throw in the fact that Kerry was from a powerful family reality is stranger than the fiction that those traitors put forth.

Posted by: WInthrop, MA | March 21, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

What is this Obama that everyone talk about? New Toyota '08 model? Internet protocol for asynchronous file transfer?

Posted by: Nitzer Webb | March 21, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Technology sucks.

Posted by: Brock | March 21, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I thought the ad mildly funny, but not worth all of this angst! As a Republican, I didn't think it terribly rude, or terribly distasteful. It was a clever ad, with the message clearly in favor of Obama, using sound clips that were hardly depricating of Mrs. Clinton... She does not shy away from being establishment, and she is trying to attract people to her campaign, as is Obama. So what? Isn't this how the game is played?

Posted by: conservative | March 21, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I thought the ad was funny and harmless.

Too bad the Clinton campaign is focusing on this rather than getting their candidate to apologize to nation and beg forgiveness from the American people for helping lead our country into the pointless bloody quagmire of Iraq.

Posted by: VP_Spiro_T_Cheney | March 21, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

There's a union connection... from

Philip de Vellis, a consultant working on Barack Obama's campaign, admitted today that he produced the infamous "1984" Hillary Clinton attack ad.
De Vellis also blogged on, an anti-Wal-Mart website partially funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The union's president, Andrew Stern, serves on the board of directors of the website. In blog postings, de Vellis railed against Wal-Mart

Hillary Clinton served on the Wal-Mart's board of directors for six years.

Posted by: William | March 21, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Looks like everyone is playing into the neocons game of "divide & rule."

Unfortunately, Obama's supporters are the first ones out of the gate with the "I, me, mine, myself" outlook of the whole scheme of things.

Unless Obama & Hillary's supporters learn to grow up. This kind of a house divided will fall while the neocons continue to rip off this country.

Posted by: neocon sucks | March 21, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The original ad didn't do alot for Apple? Dude, have you heard of the Macintosh? It's not like the commercial was for the Lisa or something.

Posted by: Andre LePlume | March 21, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Great video.

But the fight reminds me of a bunch of dogs fighting over a bone. But then so do the politicians. The funny thing is people complaing about poor Hillary, the Clintons are the best at the dirty tricks.

Posted by: Thomas Carden | March 21, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

people here continuously disgust me.

yeah, let's just attack chris because he doesn't report what we want to hear.

fine don't come them, don't reply. Why bother?

and yes it's a legitimate article here. What happens if someone in the Obama camp did learn of it? As the question is asked on the hotline blog...if Huffington was able to find out about it, how many other people did know?

apparently we should always take every statement made by a political campaign at face value. Unless it suits us otherwise.

maybe and quite possibly nobody did know, that's fine I can actually accept that. No big deal, but the responses here are rather pathetic and honestly made by people that don't understand politics.

Posted by: thomas | March 21, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Philip de Veliis was working for Blue State. This company works for Obama's campaign but also for Bill Richardson's campaign. They have also worked for Tom Vilsack. Why Hillary supporters are so prompt to ask Obama to denounce it. Why not Richardson? or even Vilsack? oh.. i remember, he is no longer in the race

Posted by: joelle | March 21, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Did any one see the video.... nothing is said about any one or anything... it's pointless and meaningless. I am 27 and have never seen the original commercial, but clearly it did not do alot for Apple and it will do nothing for Obama. Oh who cares any way. In the end we will be paying more in taxes and getting less help from our government. AND LOOK ALL THE ANTS ARE GABBING ABOUT A YOUTUBE VIDEO AND EVERYTHING THAT REALLY MATTERS IS FORGOTTEN.

Posted by: oah Diehl | March 21, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama Obama

Posted by: Mike | March 21, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I love watching the left wing socialist democrats implode. Where is Nancy Pelosi's 100 hours of work? Not even a single bill has reached the desk of the President.

Anyway, this ad was interesting, I could care less who knew what, and in the end, neither of them will make the ticket.

Posted by: Chicom GOP | March 21, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

faint praise.
either side.
both sides.
help all.

Posted by: larry | March 21, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

What's amazing is that few in the media seem to "get it." I've heard Big Brother, neo-fascist, authoritarian - journalists and pundits just don't GET the point of the ad! What the ad says is that Hillary represents 'The Establishment' - and she does. She's a Washington insider; that's a fact that can't be changed. What the ad says - just as Apple said in this ad about IBM - is that Obama is new and different from 'The Establishment.' "Fresh," as Biden would say. That's the point - it was so obvious, too, or do journalists really need to have these things explained to them?

Posted by: itsallsogoofy | March 21, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama was assured De Vellis did not work on his account: Considering this "vote different" is thought very highly of by all experts and non experts alike, I would hope this De Vellis DID do some work for my campaign's account.

Posted by: David | March 21, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

To LB williams;
Hillary supporters have fired back with this ad on You Tube. I guess they are not really football fans. this anouncement was made by Barack Obama for a Monday Night football and not the super bowl. That night the Bears have won againt the Saint Louis Rams. since Obama has to denounced everything that has come out against Hillary. Did she has to denounced this?
Folks... Welcome to new era in politics..

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

This ad is mostly important in what it reveals about Obama, as opposed to Hillary, and that is that Obama doesn't practice the kind of politics he preaches. If he did, whether or not he is associated with this ad, he would have denounced comparing Clinton to some Stalinist figure. You can be sure that Obama supporters would demand the same thing if the tables were turned.

Posted by: John | March 21, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not quite sure I understand those who feel that Obama should "denounce" or "apologize for" this ad (or anything negative that someone independent of his campaign or employ says about another candidate). There is nothing to denounce or apologize for. soon as he starts apologizing for things over which he has no control, people will start criticizing him as being too "cautious" or "scared" or "weak". He did precisely what he should have done...acknowledged that he had no prior knowledge of -- or connection to -- the production of that ad. That's it. Full disclosure...I'm an Obama supporter, but on this issue, I'd feel the same way even if the roles were reversed. It seems as though some are putting way too much responsibility on and giving way to much credit to the politicians when they are expected to be personally held accountable for everything every private citizen publically says or does. Forget *personal* accountability...blame the politician. It's easier! (But then forgetting personal accountability seems to be general theme in society these days...).

Granted, the fact that the person who produced that ad worked for a company employed by the Obama campaign makes things a little "stickier" on first glance, but I think that just speaks to the fact that the person who made the ad a) didn't think about the implications of his actions and b) isn't quite as smart as he thinks he is...

Posted by: lar | March 21, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Who is Barack Obama?

Posted by: clarkssupport | March 21, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

US President Anonymous, US Senate Anonymous, US House Anonymous: best major candidate.

Posted by: Tim Kalemkarian | March 21, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Why was he fired? Did Philip de Vellis create this video with company assests, on company time.

It would be horric if he was let go because of something he did in his private life and his company found objection with his political views.

Posted by: Corith | March 21, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Obama is learning from Bush who played dumb while swift liars smeared Kerry.

Posted by: obama swiftie | March 21, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

In response to Donna...

I am well aware that Sen. Obama has no control over what people say. However, he does have control over what HE says. And he has not gone out of his way to repudiate negative attacks on Sen. Clinton. (Attacks from people who support his campiagn).

If Obama is going to present himself as someone who is above politics as usual, then I expect him to forcefully denounce negative ads such as this.

Posted by: Isaiah | March 21, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama was exposed as a fraud. Plain and simple.

Posted by: new politics? | March 21, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The video is clever in it's editing, and in comparing a speech by Obama to Hillary, it carried things to an extreme, but Obama is a great speaker.

What is new here, is not the content, which isn't really that interesting. It's that, like the author says, a single person can make a message that everyone around the world will see.

How do we learn to filter? Who do we believe and trust? What will we select to inform ourselves?

All of these things will have to be considered now, by anyone who wants to vote. It should have been considered before, but now the sources of the some of the published news is exposed.

Posted by: Deborah | March 21, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Dee-El, your comment at 8:37 was simply common sense and I agree with what you said. Thanks. I would add that what Obama reawakens in his followers is a blessed return to discussing national issues in terms of common sense, as compared to poll-tested spin. Being raised a feet on the ground farm girl, my common sense tells me that Obama certainly cannot know of nor control the actions of all his admirers, so it is a flight of fancy for folks to hold him accountable for such. Someone like Isaiah, who posted at 8:56pm may be struggling to come to terms with simple common sense, inasmuch as Isaiah goes off on such a hype tangent.

Posted by: Donna | March 21, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I have to wonder if this won't actually work against itself. It is plagiarism (at very least, an ethical no-no); creative or not, it is a cheap shot; and it pretends to be endorsed by Obama.

Now therein lays yet another 2 edged sword. If he really had nothing to do with it then someone spoke for him and perhaps not with the voice he would have liked. If he did have any involvement, there goes his street cred as being above political pettiness.

Or I may be too old to get that this is unbearably cool.

This is a small thing. It will be interesting to see if more of this surfaces - including a Clinton-camp retaliation (sanctioned or not).

Posted by: LB Williams | March 21, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

can we all recess until 11/07? It's like Xmas with the retail world-- we're arriving way too early. Let's wait for true election season-- don't let the media decide when we can all pile up.

Posted by: sulocococo | March 21, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Chris would you please tell the whole truth. I invite every one to go on the hufftington post web site. Philip de vellis has posted a blog where not only he says that Obama's campaign has nothing to do with the ad, but he has also resigned from Blue State

Posted by: joelle | March 21, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"too cute by half"
The stupidest statement I've ever read.

Posted by: Jimmy | March 21, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

This is a non-issue. Someone made a political ad. First, it's about a year until the first primary takes place. That's a lifetime. Secondly, I'm 99.9% sure Hillary and Barrack won't win the primary. It's not because they can't win the primary. It's because they can't win a general election. I guess the media and the pundits need something to talk about. But when the dust settles, the bottom line is that Hillary is too polarizing and alot of people aren't ready for vote for someone named Barrack and Obama. I know that America is supposed to be a melting pot, but when your first and last name sound too "foreign" to someone named Billy Bob, it's not a good sign. Edwards is about the only candidate who could beat McCain and Gulianni. I'd implore the Democratic party not to choose a candidate based on his or her fundraising abilities. Aside from Reduhblican cheating, Gore and Kerry lost because they're boring. When you're a dude and you have to hire someone to tell you how to act like a dude, that's not good. When you're taking pills to induce a facelift, that's not good.

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | March 21, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Why is the Obama campaign running from this ad. Why is free speach being punished when it was (a) not offensive and (b) not done in violation of a work agreement with the Obama campaign.

If the man did the work on company time, maybe he should get a slap on the wrist. If Apple was suing for copyright infringment maybe this would be justified. But fired... What a draconian punishment for nothing more than excersizing free speach rights.

Posted by: BJ | March 21, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

great, keep following this story closely for the next 24 hours, Chris. In other words, keep reading those blogs hard for the next day. This story needs to be followed closely for the next 24 hours.

I'm trying to be sarcastic, but some things are beyond satire.

Posted by: djim | March 21, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Disclosure is good. The video was a very powerful message. I was under the impression that someone who had a recent falling out with Senator Clinton was at least partly responsible -- I was wrong.

Posted by: egalitaire | March 21, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, what do you expect from this guy? BO's campaign should learn to cover their tracks.... Read about his history of this guy - this isn't his first run in with controversy

Posted by: lizziemartin | March 21, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

By my count, this is the second time someone "unaffiliated" with the Obama campaign has launched an unprovoked attack against Hillary and in favor of Obama. In both cases, Sen. Obama does nothing to repudiate their actions. As this primary campaign unfolds, it is becoming clear that Team Obama is nothing new; rather they seem to enjoy allowing surrogates to play dirty.


Posted by: Isaiah | March 21, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

This little clever bit does nothing to either Obama or Hillary. Watch and enjoy.

Posted by: lylepink | March 21, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I find it surprising that the Obama campaign released its statement "minutes" after the story broke. That seems to suggest they were aware of it all along. If not, then they're being way too jumpy about it, which is another rookie mistake.

Posted by: Timothy McIntyre | March 21, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Correction --------

Hey Kevin B. -------

Please tell Hillary Clinton to denounce this video of her supporters attacking Senator Obama.

THis is the anti-Obama video making the rounds on YouTube

Posted by: michigangirl | March 21, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Kevin B. -------

Please tell Hillary Clinton to denounce this video of her supporters attacking Senator Obama.

Posted by: michigangirl | March 21, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

This is an important ad --- not for artisan reasons but becuase of its implications. The digital age has introduced the concept of the recursive image - a highly compact communication that is symbolic, impressionistic, and information dense. It contains a huge amount of information, that is unbundled by implication, events such as this ad. Recursive image succeeds becuase it connects with something real in its subject matter. Swift Boat Veterans for Truth succceeded with Kerry because he seemed to be a resume building, class president kind of guy. The idea that his purple heart may have been earned through sucking up rather than real action may or may not have been true, but it seemed to align with other aspects of Kerry's peronality and history. It had a resonance that was hard to stop.

The danger for Hillary is that she has some clear negatives - like Kerry a resume building, elite-oriented, class-president kind of person. Add to that the last 20 years of presidencies have been either Bushes or a Clinton, and the idea of 28 years of presidencies belonging to two families does begin to feel like Big Brother. The ad plays off of those impressions. This could be the beginning of a wave of recursive images that sink her chances.

Posted by: Dee-El | March 21, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

By now I'd hope everyone realizes Chris is a biased clintonista. The guy's probably asskissing in hopes of getting a job if Hillary wins. AFterall, she promised to repay those who shall be loyal to her. So dont mind when Chris keeps pulling Obama where he's not involved negatively, and skip mentioning him when he does something positive.

Posted by: kemi | March 21, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse


Can you guys do some serious news for a change? What the hell happened to the Washington Post? You guys have almost reached tabloid status.

Posted by: Hanson | March 21, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Why would Obama need to denounce the video? Is america becoming another Russia or is this a symptom of fear by the clintonmaniacs. If this ad scares you, withdraw from the race as republicans will be direct and mean.

Posted by: kemi | March 21, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | March 21, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Ok, here we go kids, this is the start of something interesting in the 21st century. Yes, media manipulation for personal or political gain. Haven't we seen this through the years though? I mean from the earliest of earliest of political cartoons on what was known as newspaper? As jerry would say "what's the big deal here? "

Posted by: OMG | March 21, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama should have denounced the video when it came out. Regardless of how you feel about Sen. Clinton, it's absurd to compare her to a neo-fascist. Obama seems perfectly content leaving personal attacks to his supports while he stays above the fray. This is politics as usual - not the new kind of politics that he's been preaching.

Posted by: Kevin B. | March 21, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss how this was offensive? When Apple released this ad during the super bowl in 1984, and it was IBM on the screens, everyone thought it was creative. Despite being not terribly new, why is it offensive now? Whether or not you agree with Senator Clinton, this is just a political statement. As far as political ads go, it's even reasonably creative. If Obama's people didn't do it, they should probably wish they did.

Posted by: K. Sargent | March 21, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Chris, why do you keep bringing up Obama's name when everyone involved says he and his campaign had nothing to do with the ad? Shouldn't you at least have SOME connection between his campaign and the ad before mentioning them in the same article/same sentance again and again?

Or are you trying to play this like the Bush Administration tried to play Saddam Hussein/Al Qaeda?

Posted by: J. Crozier | March 21, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

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