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War over #Julia: Has Obama campaign set a trap for Republicans?

The Obama campaign's 'Life of Julia' Web infographic shows how government helps women from cradle to grave. Republicans have pounced on it as 'nanny state' excess. But the #Julia Internet meme has taken off.

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As Julia goes through life, she gets a good public education because of Race to the Top, receives a Pell Grant to attend college, has surgery as a young adult under her parents’ health insurance, gets a loan from the Small Business Administration for her Web startup, and so on, all the way into old age, where a still-functioning Medicare and Social Security help her retire comfortably. Free of worries, she volunteers at a community garden.

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We’re left to imagine that in the presumed Romney dystopia, senior-citizen Julia is eating cat food and living in a cardboard box, because, the graphic states, “under Romney, Julia's benefits could be cut by 40 percent.”

Republicans were not amused. The Republican National Committee immediately posted a counternarrative on its Tumblr account:

“#Julie is bummed. Her share of the national debt went up $16,345 under Obama.”

“#Julia, the college student, is paying record high tuition to attend college.”

“#Julia, about to graduate, can’t find a job in the Obama economy.”

And so on.

Each point is followed by a link to a website with supporting data. By Julia's retirement, of course, there is no Medicare or Social Security, because Obama let them go broke.

The Twitter-verse exploded over Julia.

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin: “I will read Life of #Julia to my kids to show them how NOT to live their lives – tethered to Nanny State.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review: “Where’s the slide for when #Julia concludes she’s never going to find a job and drops out of the workforce?”

Conservative talk-show host Dana Loesch: “I've no idea how I or other women survived this long without the government making all of our decisions for us. #julia”

The April employment numbers out Friday morning, showing disappointing job creation, are no doubt a bigger problem for Obama than conservatives piling on poor Julia. But if all the attention gets more voters to click through her “life,” driving home his message that the government is there to help women, then maybe Obama will actually win this skirmish.

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