Obama takes combo-meal approach to save stimulus bill

MyBarackObama.com screengrab.
President Barack Obama took to the old and the new media this week to gain support for the stimulus package. Obama launched a media blitz appearing on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox News and penned an op-ed in the Washington Post. His former campaign manager emailed 13 million supporters directing them to a YouTube video and encouraged participation in Economic Recovery House parties this weekend.

In fast-food language, President Obama ordered a combo meal.

With the hope of seeing some version of the mammoth stimulus package passed by Feb. 16, President Obama took to both the old and the new media to get his message out.

Blago-like tour

First up, the traditional way of communicating: a media blitz even Rod Blagojevich could be proud of. Obama spoke to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and even Fox News to talk directly to the American people.

Apparently there wasn't time for The View or David Letterman.

Obama in ink

Next, an opinion piece in the Washington Post: "The Action Americans Need" ran today.

"Each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes," the president wrote. "And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse."

Somewhat reminiscent of the "I won" remark from a couple weeks ago, Obama criticizes those who advocate "the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems."

"I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change," he wrote. "They know that we have tried it those ways for too long."

The campaign continues

Concurrent with these time-tested strategies, Obama put old campaign manager David Plouffe to work.

Just because Plouffe inked a mega-book deal doesn't mean he's going to a secluded cabin without distraction from Internet, BlackBerry, or YouTube to compose his memoirs.

Anything but. He's doing what worked so well during the 2008 campaign. He's organizing. He's communicating. He's banding together the O-faithful to gin up support for the stimulus package.

With a new Gallup poll showing only 38 percent of Americans favoring the existing stimulus proposal, Plouffe is resorting to the same techniques he was lauded for during the campaign.


Plouffe sent a mass email out yesterday. Really mass. Some 13 million addresses in the database compiled over the past two years.

The email lobbies for support of the bill, directs people to a YouTube hosted video, encourages them to share the video, and then announces that Obama house parties are back.

Plouffe's email is easy to read, upbeat, and doesn't demonize opponents of the legislation.

"The Economic Recovery plan passed the House of Representatives, and the Senate is preparing to vote on it very soon," Plouffe writes. "The final version can and will be improved. But the President's core plan will positively affect families and communities all across the country."

"You can help make sure the American people have all the facts so they can support this crucial effort to boost our struggling economy," he continues.


How can "you" help?

First, Plouffe directs you to a "best of Obama" video - a two-minute conversation with the president. Not highly produced. Just excerpts from the numerous network interviews he had a couple days ago.

Of course, Plouffe asks you to email the video to everyone you know.

In the house

Then, further following the campaign, Plouffe announces Obama house parties this weekend. Although he isn't calling the events "house parties" - it's the same thing. They just don't sound nearly as fun.

Plouffe encourages supporters to host "Economic Recovery House Meetings." Woo-hoo.

According to the website, you'll be able to interact with Virginia Governor/DNC Chief Tim Kaine who will answer questions about the plan.

Can this actually work? Who knows. The campaign did though.

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