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Obama takes on Romney, #Julia replaces Joe the Plumber

A screenshot of the from BarackObama.com shows
A screenshot of the from BarackObama.com shows "The Life of Julia" and compares the differing affects electing Mitt Romney or Barack Obama would have on her life.

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President Obama officially kicked off his presidential campaign this weekend, and with it, the virtual character #Julia, a non-descript, fictional “everywoman” to communicate to women what government can do for them.

The online, viral slideshow “the Life of Julia,” follows the fictional woman from age 3, to 67, and shows her taking advantage of government policies under an Obama administration, from Head Start to Medicaid.

Reaction, which erupted on Twitter and Facebook, has been mixed. Supporters think it’s an effective way to breakdown complex policies and show how they’ll impact average people’s lives, while some Republican detractors were quick to pounce on what they saw as a “cradle to grave” mentality –- a lifetime dependent on “government handouts.”

Will Romney turn #Julia into the latest version of the welfare queen? Meanwhile, by replacing its old campaign slogan “change” with “forward,” the Obama campaign is trying to focus this race on the future rather than make it a referendum on the past. A new poll out from Politico today shows President Obama and Mitt Romney in a close tie.


Do you think #Julia’s story sends an effective message? How do you think Obama’s emphasis on the future and Romney’s emphasis on the past will play out this election cycle?


Rachel Van Dongen, deputy Politics editor for POLITICO

Darry Sragow, attorney, Democratic political strategist

Lisa Schiffren, senior fellow, Independent Women's Forum, a conservative think tank