After speech, supporters to promote Obama agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and outside supporters of President Barack Obama are launching simultaneous social media, public outreach and fundraising campaigns tied to Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The efforts will concentrate on key issues Obama will raise in his prime-time address to a joint session of Congress: jobs and the budget, gun control, immigration and climate change. The wide-ranging outreach reflects a decision by the president and his advisers to focus more on using public support to pressure Congress rather than getting bogged down in partisan fights with lawmakers.

It's unclear whether the tactics — many of which were successful in helping Obama win two presidential elections — will be effective in pushing the president's second-term agenda. Many of the proposals he will press for Tuesday night, including using increased revenue to bring down the deficit and banning military-style assault weapons, face strong opposition from congressional Republicans, as well as some Democrats.

The White House will focus on using social media to engage the public on the proposals Obama will outline during the annual State of the Union address. Officials invited 100 people who follow the administration on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to watch the speech from the White House and then participate in an online panel when Obama wraps up.

The White House will also stream an enhanced version of the address online that will incorporate graphics and data to complement Obama's rhetoric. Senior administration advisers on the economy, climate change and other issues will also answer questions online following the speech and throughout the week.

Immediately following Tuesday's address, Obama will hold a conference call with supporters attending State of the Union watch parties hosted by Organizing for Action, an outside group backing the president. The president will personally join the social media effort Thursday during an online discussion on Google, known as a "hangout."

Organizing for Action is an offshoot of Obama's presidential campaign and is run by several of his former campaign advisers. The newly formed organization, which has access to the Obama campaign's coveted donor and voter database, is using the State of the Union as a fundraising opportunity and will send out its first email to supporters asking for money following the address.

OFA officials outlined their State of the Union plans during a conference call with former staffers and volunteers Sunday night.

They said they would be particularly focused in the coming weeks on building support for the president's proposals for reducing gun violence and averting automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester.

OFA officials are planning two "national days of action," one focused on gun violence on Feb. 22 and another centered on the budget in early March. Jon Carson, the group's executive director, told supporters that Obama would also issue a "call to action on climate change" during the State of the Union, though he offered no specific details on what that would entail.

The president will still embark on the traditional post-State of the Union travel, with trips planned Wednesday to Asheville, N.C., Thursday to Atlanta, and Friday to Chicago. The stops are expected to center on Obama's proposals for boosting jobs and the economy, though officials said he would also discuss gun violence in his hometown of Chicago.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Political Pulse

Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!

No
Like It
 
Don't Like It
 
 
 

Comments

We welcome your thoughtful comments. Be the first to participate in the discussion. All comments will display your username and avatar.

 

Add a Comment

Sign in or join now to post a comment. All comments will display your username and avatar.

 


Alabama (change)

 
Known as the “Heart of Dixie,” Alabama has a population of over 4.6 million residents. Montgomery is the capital city. Other major cities include Birmingham, Mobile, and Huntsville.
 
Offices & Officials

Governor: Robert Bentley
Lieutenant Governor: Kay Ivey
Attorney General: Luther Strange
State Treasurer: Young Boozer
Secretary of State: Beth Chapman

Contacting the White House and Congress

Click the links below to get in touch with your elected officials.