Trailer: "The Hope and the Change"

Coming soon to a theater — and Republican convention — near you.

The Hope and the Change is a more sophisticated and potentially potent effort than the Hillary project was. Instead of featuring strident partisan voices such as Morris or Ann Coulter, the cast of 40 is composed entirely of registered Democrats and independents who voted for Obama in 2008. This reflects a political premise shared by Bossie and Stephen K. Bannon, the film’s director—that the 2012 election will be decided by that group of voters in key states whose enthusiasm for Obama has descended toward disillusion.

The film’s early production stage, reflecting the true nature of the project, involved an ambitious political operation in dozens of key counties in seven swing states. Bossie used market research firms to identify their pool of Obama voters, and then conducted focus group sessions to cull the group down to those who would appear in the film. He contracted with Pat Caddell, the Democratic pollster and adviser to former president Jimmy Carter, who had been researching the very group Bannon and Bossie were interested in, to design the sessions…

Bannon says he sees his movie as “a referendum film,” which, of course, neatly fits the election framework that the Romney camp is hoping for. Advertising spots are already being cut, and will serve the duel purpose of promoting the film and signaling to voters hesitant about an Obama reelection that they are not alone.

Hannity’s apparently devoting his show tomorrow night to introducing the film but it’ll premier formally at the convention next week “with a planned introduction by one of the convention’s star speakers.” Newsweek doesn’t know who yet and wonders if it’ll be Christie. Could be, but if anything might get Palin to change her mind and make an appearance in Tampa, this is it. Steve Bannon also directed “The Undefeated,” remember, and nothing would launch “The Hope and the Change” quite like a surprise intro from Sarahcuda. Worth keeping an eye on.

No secret to their strategy here: Appeal to undecideds by gently reminding them that a lot of smart people made a bad decision in the booth four years ago. We’ve seen that approach before.