As we suspected from the initial clips, Inside the Bubble was more hype than anything which would provide any meaningful insight into the 2004 campaign Slate was not very impressed with the movie:
Unfortunately, Inside the Bubble, which premiered at the New York Television Festival Thursday, doesn’t do much to answer those questions. The movie overpromises the way sham politicians do. There are some amusing and entertaining moments, but there is little in it to explain why Kerry lost—no inside scoop from his senior advisers or much insight into the man himself. . .
Because the Steve Rosenbaum wasn’t given much access to the real strategists, he tries to make the subjects he gets sound more important than they are. When not doing that, the film tries to suggest that the confusion you’re watching represents the chaos afflicting the Kerry campaign. It doesn’t. It’s garden-variety chaos that hits all campaigns.
Early media coverage suggested that the film might be harmful to a future run by Kerry, but aspects might actually be helpful. Slate observes, “As for the candidate himself, we don’t see much of him that we haven’t seen already. But there are a few surprises. Kerry the candidate seems tantalizingly less stiff than we remember.” Kerry picks up a few points for some of the issues he discussed which might have seemed boring at the time but now indicate his foresight: “flood protection, coastal zone protection …” Just the kind of ideas which might be appealing to voters in 2008–and they might not even mind that he goofed off and interviewed himself off camera.