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Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech is the most popular video in the world today, drawing an unusual 1.2 million full views in its first 24 hours on YouTube – double the views of the next most popular clips. YouTube only counts visitors who watch an entire video, so hundreds of thousands of additional visitors probably watched part of the 37-minute address.

While commentators and Democratic leaders predict that "A More Perfect Union" will ultimately be seen as a historic contribution to American race relations, it is already making history in YouTube politics. At this pace, it will be the most watched contemporary political speech in Internet history. In about a day, it is already the second most viewed item on Obama's innovative YouTube channel, which boasts 810 videos and 13 million channel views. (For comparison, that is nine times the views of Clinton's channel and 21 times the views for the McCain channel.)

Obama's all-time top video, a 4-minute response to President Bush's State of the Union recorded exclusively for YouTube, ultimately drew 1.3 million views. An Obama aide tells The Nation that video took about two weeks to reach one million views -- this longer Philadelphia address broke one million views in a single day, with visitors voting it the top rated and most "favorited" video on YouTube. And over at, an excerpt of Obama's speech was also the most popular clip, drawing over 360,000 views.

Obama has staked his campaign on the premise that we cannot solve the country's problems through the old, broken model of divisive politics and scandal-driven, never-ending media battles. From improving race relations to ending the war responsibly, he is offering voters honest and nuanced ideas over soundbites. And a record-breaking number of people continue to embrace this unusual political proposal -- often routing around the media filter to hear from Obama directly.

Update: In traditional media, big speeches are largely treated as a menu for ordering a few appetizing soundbites. That's why Joe Klein understandably worries that:

Most people will never hear the elegant complexity of Obama's speech in full...though they certainly should. As others have already said, it was the best speech about race I've ever heard delivered by an American politician.

Yet as this video goes viral, tapping many months of the campaign's decentralized organizing, literally millions of people will see the speech in full. An Obama Campaign email urged supporters to send it to everyone they know, while MoveOn and ColorofChange called on their large membership base to circulate it as well. YouTube stats indicate that many viewers are finding the clip from links on Obama's site, in addition to general interest news sites like the Huffington Post and Crooks & Liars.

Posted by Ari Melber at 03/19/2008 @ 12:30pm | Email This Post


As HAPPY will no doubt tell us, "who cares? Run the video of Wright again!"

Remember, McCain can't win on the issues ("Four more years"?)...gotta go after Obama on a character fight!

Posted by MASK 03/19/2008 @ 12:34pm | ignore this person

libzsuk-Under your frankshitz id you admitted that you do not know what a liberal is so how do you know that libs suck since you admit that you have no idea what a lib is?The fact that you changed ids when you lost the discussion yesterday indicates that you are a candyass like your boy Bush.

Posted by I'M NOBODY 03/19/2008 @ 12:46pm | ignore this person

Can somebody at the Nation's web site please police the comment section like other sites do? Calling Obama the kind of names that this libz guy does does really not belong.

Posted by STEVE1US 03/19/2008 @ 12:52pm | ignore this person

May these 1,200,000 full views translate into votes, preferably enough Super Delegate votes announced soon enough to prevent Billary from taking the Democratic party down to immolation with them.

Posted by SLOPER 03/19/2008 @ 12:53pm | ignore this person


'...Not to dampen any parade, but if one asks if there is a single thing about Mr. Obama's Senate record, or state legislature record, or current program, that could possibly justify his claim to the presidency one gets . . . what? Not much. Similarly lightweight unqualified "white" candidates have overcome this objection, to be sure, but what kind of standard is that?

I shall not vote for Sen. Obama and it will not be because he -- like me and like all of us -- carries African genes. And I shall not be voting for Mrs. Clinton, who has the gall to inform me after a career of overweening entitlement that there is "a double standard" at work for women in politics; and I assure you now that this decision of mine has only to do with the content of her character....'

Posted by HONESTLIBERAL 03/19/2008 @ 12:56pm | ignore this person

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia:

'...In response Nixon made an impassioned reply on national television in a speech known as the "Checkers" speech because it contained a sentimental reference to Nixon's dog, Checkers. The speech included a full disclosure of his personal finances, and Eisenhower then kept him as his running mate....'

Posted by HONESTLIBERAL 03/19/2008 @ 12:59pm | ignore this person

Pretty speech, but... I don't know if UNITY is the answer. Do we really want to turn into a one party system like Mexico's PRI? Maybe this is the time to talk about a parliamentary system so all voices are represented.

Posted by NURSEVIC 03/19/2008 @ 1:02pm | ignore this person

Re Hitchens: an alcohol heated hot air balloon, scamming us with his plummy accent & his canned comments, a publicity hound with nothing of substance, and certainly not depth, to add to public discussion of any important issue. To be ignored.

Any comparison to the Checkers speech is risible; just watch the Checkers speech. Or for that matter, any Nixon speech.

Posted by SLOPER 03/19/2008 @ 1:06pm | ignore this person

Posted by NURSEVIC 03/19/2008 @ 1:02pm | ignore this person

you are misinformed about Mexico and their politics. it was not a unity gov't. quite the opposite. it was more like what the repubs wanted to install here. permanent repub majority.

Posted by EMILE DUBOIS 03/19/2008 @ 1:06pm | ignore this person

Posted by HONESTLIBERAL 03/19/2008 @ 12:56pm | ignore this person

there is NOTHING liberal about you.

Posted by EMILE DUBOIS 03/19/2008 @ 1:08pm | ignore this person

Read all of the comments and post a reply.

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