The obvious comparison to "By The People"is, of course, "The War Room", the 1992 documentary about Bill Clinton's campaign. The latter is a far superior documentary only because Clinton's campaign was loaded with colorful characters, not the least of which was Clinton himself. By comparison, "By The People" is a boring, useless 2 hours that practically does a disservice to a charismatic, if boring and drama-free, candidate. Given that there's no drama around Obama, one would expect some insight into the staffers, the family, or even more behind the scenes looks at how the campaign dealt with the bumps in the road (Jeremiah Wright, Hillary's fight to the end, etc.). Nothing.
If you're a political junkie, this is a waste of time. There is hardly anything here that couldn't be gleaned from press accounts immediately following the election and any number of books about the candidate and the campaign. If you're a novice or just an Obama fan, you might find it compelling. It's a nice piece of history to own, I suppose, but good for little else.