WASHINGTON -- To mark the anniversary of last year's stimulus package, Democrats have been pushing a chart comparing monthly job loss figures under George W. Bush and under President Obama. Now Obama -- or at least his Twitter persona, run by the Democratic National Committee -- is about to ask supporters to help out.
"OFA supporters are donating their Twitter pictures to mark the anniversary of the #RecoveryAct. Change yours here: http://bit.ly/b-E," the @BarackObama Twitter page will ask its 3.3 million followers Wednesday evening, a source tells Salon. It links to a tool to automatically switch your icon to the graph. The icon for Obama's account will also change for 24 hours, the first time it's been changed since the end of the 2008 campaign.
The idea is to spread awareness, virally and visually, of the way the administration says the stimulus bill helped pull the economy back from the edge of an abyss. The numbers to produce the chart came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The graph tells a convincing story of how we are on the road to recovery," a Democratic source says.
Between the chart and a ferocious effort to brand Republicans as hypocrites for denouncing the stimulus while taking credit for projects it funded, the DNC and the administration have switched from defense to aggressive offense on the recovery plan as the anniversary of its enactment rolls around. Republicans, though, are pushing just as hard on concerns about spending and the national debt; the $787 billion stimulus resonates in a lot of voters' minds as just another example of Washington run amok.