Obama campaign's "Julia" turns into Republican fodder

Life of Julia from the Obama campaign

Life of Julia from the Obama campaign

(CBS News) When the Obama campaign unveiled its fictional character Julia, officials hoped she might become a household name to show how the president's vision for the United States would benefit millions of Americans, especially women.

Instead, she is getting attention from Republicans who hope to use her to symbolize what they see as Mr. Obama's failures: An overreaching government.

According to the Twitter analytic Topsy, #Julia has been mentioned more than 20,000 times in the past two days as Republicans have been gleefully attacking Julia with their own interpretation of what she represents.

In "The Life of Julia," the Obama campaign released a web slideshow that takes the viewer through the life stages of a fictional woman named Julia. At age three, a slide says Julia is enrolled in the government Head Start program, which says presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney would slash. Later in life, the web tool says Julia received cheaper student loans, a Pell Grant and a tax credit. She benefited from the health care law and in her older years, Julia received Medicare and Social Security.

To Republicans, she represents a society increasingly dependent on government handouts.

Blogger Michelle Malkin hit the Twittersphere attacking Julia and has been retweeted nearly 600 times as of mid-day Friday.

And conservative writer Carrie Lucas wrote in the National Review Online that the life of Julia is "insulting."

"This latest tactic in the administration's 'War on Women' campaign is frankly insulting in its implication that women all need constant government help to get from the cradle to the grave," Lucas wrote.

The Republican Party says "The Life of Julia" is just another "gimmick" of "hype and blame" by the Obama campaign, riffing on Mr. Obama's 2008 theme of "hope and change."

"What's more, hyping and blaming is an admission of failure. If the president had a successful record, he would point to his first term and just say "Let's have more of that!" Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer wrote in a memo Friday.

In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto writes, "Obama is setting forward a vision contrary to the American tradition of self-sufficiency--a welfare state that runs from cradle to grave."

As the Labor Department's announcement Friday morning that the economy added just 115,000 new jobs in April, Republicans took to Twitter to say "Julia needs a job."


  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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