#USelections2012: President; Interrupted

This week: Obama makes a DREAM come true, but lets hecklers get under his skin; Republicans give Obama the Charlie Brown treatment.

June 19, 2012 15:24
3 minute read.

USelections2012. (photo credit: Supplied)


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US President Barack Obama this week continued his campaign strategy of “evolving” on issues popular among his Democratic base, hoping to inject heat to a pool of lukewarm supporters. After making waves in May by saying “I do” to gay marriage, Obama has now moved ahead on limited immigration reform, enacting a handful of policies outlined in the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide illegal immigrants brought to the US by their parents as young children a path to citizenship but has not passed in Congress.

The decision to stop deporting such youth immediately led the word “DREAM” to the very top of Twitter’s trending list, reflecting both the excitement and disdain for moving ahead on the controversial issue.

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Tweets of the Week:

While sharp disagreements on social media sites are to be expected, the controversy took an unexpected turn when a reporter from The Daily Caller heckled Obama during a speech on the subject, asking  "Why’d you favor foreigners over Americans?" Instead of ignoring the comment, the usually cool-headed Obama stopped his speech to lecture the reporter: "Excuse me, sir, this is not time for questions. Not while I'm speaking." He later responded to the query, saying that his new policy was “the right thing to do.” Talking Points Memo caught the exchange on video.

Viral Video of the Week:
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Obama’s other big speech this past week was a nearly-hour long address on the economy in Ohio, where he did his best to contextualize the sluggish recovery within the severity of the 2008 financial crisis, and cast Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s policies as a return to those that caused the crisis in the first place.

Republican super PAC American Crossroads, however, saw it as a litany of excuses, and cut it to the tune of the “wa wa” sound of Charlie Brown’s cartoon parents to great effect.

But while policy was refreshingly central to most the political buzz this week, there was also the regular talk of the glitzy, glamorous, but trivial issues as well. Facebook’s billion-dollar acquisition, photo-sharing site Instagram, became a haven of Obama photos when the US president held a fundraiser at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s home in New York City. Locals lines up to snap a photo and trot out their bragging rights, according to BuzzFeed.

The ability to make people whip out their phones may seem insignificant when it comes to campaigning, but new rules from the Federal Election Commission have changed that. The latest regulations have paved the way for people to contribute up to $50 to political campaigns via text message.

Even so, the $40,000 plates at the celebrity fundraisers will likely make more of an impact on the campaign’s coffers.

#USelections2012 offers weekly insight into the US presidential election through a social media lens, tracking candidates as they try to reach 270 electoral votes in 140 characters or less.

The writer is a Breaking News editor and blogger at The Jerusalem Post. Read his blog ‘The Bottom Line’ here.

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