Roger Simon writes:
My first thought was that neither Obama nor his staff is responsible for this video, nor would Obama recommend such devotional singing. My second thought was that – as creepy and inappropriate as this singing is – it’s not as bad as what Obama is actually proposing: forcing all children, starting at the age of 11, to give 50 hours a year of child labor working in their communities at the direction of the federal government. When Obama himself crosses the line, it’s not surprising that some of his supporters do as well.
Watching this video has disturbed me more than almost anything I have seen in recent years. It is the kind of exploitation of children that reminds me of Young Pioneer Camps I saw when visiting the Soviet Union in the Eighties. You could say, as some have, that this is much like what happens with children in churches and synagogues across America, but this is about a political figure — one of two current presidential candidates and the one leading in the polls.
And no, though it should go without saying, I don’t think that some over-the-top behavior by Obama supporters is a significant reason to vote for or against either presidential candidate in November.
UPDATE: The video has available on Obama's official campaign website since August 20th on one of the community blogs, which means that it is not endorsed by the campaign staff itself. I suspect it will be pulled soon.
One commenter there wrote: "It's frightening to think of using single-digit-aged children to sing their allegiance to a human being running for political office. It's unspeakable to see it actually happen."
Ed Morrissey imbeds some of the more obvious comparisons. Certainly, one of them would be obvious to anyone who ever saw the movie Cabaret. He also notes that it appears Jeff Zucker, the head of NBC, was one of the many people behind the filming of the performance (using HDTV cameras). [Appearances are misleading; it's a different Jeff Zucker!; link previously corrected.]