Obama's 'Life of Julia' Campaign is the 'Joe the Plumber' of 2012

The Obama campaign launched a new website last week that follows the life — from age 3 to 67— of a woman named Julia,  highlighting how she would fare in an America led by Obama compared to one led by Romney. For example, at age 3, Julia would have access to programs like Head Start thanks to Obama, but under Romney she might not — or so the infographic says.

The slides are completely misleading and based on broad generalizations, but even putting all that aside, we are still left with an offensive, pandering, and patronizing story of a woman who can not appear to survive the various stages of life without her sugar daddy, Barack Obama.

When Julia starts public school, Obama is there. When she goes to college, he’s there. When she decides to have a child, there is no mention of a spouse or any other family, but it is okay, because Obama is there instead. Do you want to start a business ladies? You probably can’t without Obama.

It’s a disturbing depiction of how the left envision the role of government in our private lives — one that is present and pervading at every major (and probably minor) stage. It’s somewhat ironic then that Obama’s Julia shares the same name as the main female character in George Orwell’s 1984; the world of Orwell's Julia is also one with an omnipresent government.

What’s also frustrating about this campaign is how blatantly it panders to a certain demographic. Julia is supposed to represent the typical middle-class American woman. She is white, college-educated, and part of one of the key demographics Obama needs to secure a win in November. Julia benefits from a whole host of government programs throughout her life seemingly without ever having to pay for them. Contrary to what many right-wing conservatives are saying, Julia is not a welfare queen, and it is politically unwise for them to label her as such. However, the campaign creates a world where Julia gets everything she needs and wants without having to worry about who’s paying for it;but only if she votes for Obama.

Julia will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation for both Republicans and Democrats. Think of her as this election’s Joe the Plumber. But unlike Joe the Plumber, Julia is a hypothetical character— one invented by the Obama administration with no family or friends, save for one son who disappears after heading off to kindergarten. Her’s is a depressing tale of dependency and loneliness.

What happens to Julia? At age 67 she gets to retire and plant tomatoes. Because apparently, that’s what life is all about in the end. Thank you Obama.

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Silvia Cruz

New mom since 2011 and loving every minute of it. Joint MBA / MPP with Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2012. Stanford undergrad in International Relations, 2005. NEC White House Intern, 2003 (yep, the Bush years). Intern for Zell Miller (D-GA), 2003.

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