25 April 2016

Inside Obama's White House

Inside Obama's White House, a series of four hour-long documentaries examining the Barack Obama presidency, was broadcast on BBC2 recently. It began with Obama's economic stimulus and his bailouts of the banking and automotive industries following the global economic crisis.

The Affordable Care Act, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the consequences of the Arab Spring were also covered. The final episode dealt with major social issues such as gun control and race relations (the latter of which is the subject of Michael Eric Dyson's new book, The Black Presidency).

Obama's economic negotiations with the Republicans and his Afghan policy were not included, perhaps because they have been previously documented elsewhere (in two books by Bob Woodward). Similarly, his relations with Vladimir Putin were not discussed, though they were the subject of an earlier series by the same production company (Putin, Russia & The West).

The programmes were remarkable for their level of access to almost all of the key White House and Senate figures (with the exception of Vice President Joe Biden). Excerpts from two recent interview sessions with Obama himself were included throughout.

The four episodes are: 100 Days (broadast on 15th March), Obamacare (22nd March), Don't Screw It Up! (29th March; a milder form of Obama's foreign policy "don't do stupid shit"), and The Arc Of History (5th April). The episodes were directed by Paul Mitchell, Sarah Wallis, Delphine Jaudeau, and Mick Gold.

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