American primaries: our pick of the best videos

Can YouTube win you an election? Probably not. But it certainly plays a role in amplifying certain key moments of the campaign. A little phrase, a few tears, a bad joke. Many campaign anecdotes become huge YouTube hits. These clips are cut out of their original context, dissected, and then thrown into the grazing ground of millions of web-users. From a vast collection of videos spewed out during this year's campaign, here's our Observers' pick of the best, just in time to warm you up for ‘Super Tubes-day'.
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Hillary undecided

We begin with a video from a candidate that sure does love negative campaigning. This video was put online by the John Edwards campaign team. Juxtaposing statements from Hillary Clinton saying different things about the same subject, her contradictions cannot be ignored.

Number of hits: 375,000

How can we beat the bitch?!

YouTube can quickly transform a small boo-boo and turn it into an enormous blunder. Here, a camapigner asks Republican candidate John McCain: "How can we beat the bitch?" The senator takes his time to answer, half embarrassed and half amused, and eventually says "Can I have a translation?" He certainly didn't bother to condemn the sexist insult (which came from a woman!)...and once it got onto YouTube he began to pay the price for his mistake.

Number of hits: 1 million

My plan to close the borders: Chuck Norris

This one is for pure pleasure. A most incredibly kitsch campaign video (at least for foreigners), candidate Mike Huckabee, still polling in third place and the winner in Iowa State, presents his policy on immigration, ‘approved by Chuck Norris'.

Number of hits: 1.4 million

Hillary's crocodile tears

The video that travelled the web three times over. We thought that Hillary was cold and calculating. Then, she sheds a few tears, explaining that she's fighting this difficult battle ‘thinking of her children'. She had lost in Iowa. A few days later the video was broadcast by ABC, she wins New Hampshire...

Number of hits: 596,000

I've got the hots for Obama

And finally, the most popular campaign video. A political message that holds simple values... but has a double edge. At first received well by the staff of Obama's campaign, it soon became a little embarrassing. With one of his priorities to convey a serious and experienced attitude, such a sexy theme tune wasn't really appreciated. It was certainly not the highest quality of campaign styles, but whether it had a positive or negative effect for the democrat candidate, is difficult to tell. It was good publicity for the singer at least. She appeared in one of the adverts broadcast during the Superbowl on Sunday. It pays to have convictions.

Number of hits: 5.7 million

Scarlett Johansson et Herbie Hancock chantent Obama

Plus glamour, la vidéo lancée samedi dernier par will.i.am, des Black Eyed Peas, où l'on reconnaît aussi, entre autres personnalités, l'actrice Scarlett Johansson et le musicien Herbie Hancock, sur les paroles du discours prononcé par Barack Obama dans le New Hampshire. Un carton d'audience pour un discours politique : la vidéo a été vue plus de 1,3 millions de fois en deux jours. (Merci au commentateur anonyme avoir pointé cette vidéo).

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