Who is Julia? And Will Obama 2012 Make Her the Joe the Plumber For This Election?

The newest Obama campaign slogan is not just “Hope” or “Change” it is “The Life of Julia,” which takes the viewer from Julia at age 3 to 67, with 12 different pictures of how an Obama administration, (compared to Romney) would benefit this fictional woman.

According to Topsy, a twitter analytic #Julia was mentioned nearly 30,000 times from May 2 to May 4. As of May 7, “The Life of Julia” had 41,000 likes on facebook, and 1,167 tweets. 

One of my favorite babysitters was named Julia. My niece is names Julia. I have a lovely friend from college named Julia and a wonderful friend from high school named Julia. Despite whatever criticisms there are to the fictional character who may or may not have had a child out of wedlock, I stand with Julia in my belief that an Obama administration would be best for women across the United States.

What are some of the criticisms, aside from the outcry of that Obama must be a socialist? In the “The Lonely Life of Julia,” James Taranto writes in the Wall Street Journal: “The most shocking bit of the Obama story is that Julia apparently never marries. She simply ‘decides’ to have a baby.” I must have been so in shock that I didn’t even notice that she didn’t get married!

According to Ross Douthat in the New York Times, “She’s an everywoman only by the standards of the liberal upper middle class: She works as a Web designer, has her first child in her early 30s (the average first-time American mother is in her mid-20s), and spends her golden years as a ‘volunteer at a community garden.’” And it is true, and not so surprising that though she is a graphic/cartoon figure, she looks Caucasian.

As Douthat notes, the slideshow has become fodder for conservative bashing, but “there’s also a fascinating ideological purity to its attitudes and arguments. Indeed, both in its policy vision and its philosophical premises, the slide show represents a monument to certain trends in contemporary liberalism.” It also represents a series of clear examples how re-electing Obama would differ from a Romney election.

Others believe, “As silly as it is, even baiting the Republicans into mocking the Julia feint is a form of engaging them on the gender issue,” writes Ana Marie Cox of the Guardian “The character is imaginary; the policies aren't.”

According to Laura Bassett in the Huffington Post, The Life of Julia hits the Romney campaign on “Romney's unwillingness to say whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, his plans to repeal health care reform and his plans to cut funding to Medicare, which disproportionately benefits women.”

At the end of “The Life of Julia,” the Obama campaign says, “From cracking down on gender discrimination in health care costs to fighting for equal pay, President Obama is standing up for women throughout their lives.” What do you have to say to that Romney? All I hear is Meh

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Lakshmi Sarah

Born and raised in California, Lakshmi is an educator and journalist. With roots in Kochi, Prague and San Francisco she divides her time between the places she feels at home. Over the past few years, Lakshmi has worked with newspapers and magazines from Gaborone, Botswana to Los Angeles, California. Lakshmi has several years of experience working with the National Student Leadership Conference. In 2009 and 2010 she directed the NSLC program on Journalism & Mass Communication at American University in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Pitzer College in California where she studied Global Communications and Studio Arts. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Journalism, Media and Gobalization in Aarhus, Denmark.

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