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Americas

Obama launches huge online campaign for Supreme Court nominee

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-11

US President Barack Obama launched a huge web campaign Monday to galvanise Senate support for his Supreme Court nominee, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, praising Ms. Kagan as "one of our nation's foremost legal minds" in a mass email and web video.

AFP - US President Barack Obama unleashed a multi-media barrage Monday on behalf of his nominee for the Supreme Court, posting a video on YouTube and firing off a mass email asking for support.
   
Within hours of Obama's nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the nation's highest court, a Web-based campaign was launched to ensure Senate confirmation for the replacement for retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
   
"Organizing for America," the organization which morphed out of Obama's campaign machinery to push his agenda when he entered the White House, led the charge with a bulk email from Obama to the millions on its mailing list.
   
The email contained a link to a four-minute YouTube video in which the president praised Kagan as "one of our nation's foremost legal minds."
   
"As I send my nomination to the Senate, I wanted to record a special message for you that I hope will help us launch a national discussion," Obama said in the personalized email to supporters.
   
"Please watch the message -- and share it with others," he urged.
   
Organizing for America also provided an email form to allow Kagan backers to declare support for the nominee by endorsing the statement: "I proudly support the nomination of the Honorable Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court."
   
"As the debate over her nomination takes shape, it's crucial that we show support from every corner of this country," Organizing for America said.
   
"Your signature will be part of a public display of support for this historic nomination in these crucial early weeks," it said.
   
The Organizing for America message also listed seven "things you should know about Elena Kagan" and encouraged recipients to share it by posting a link on their Facebook page or on Twitter.
   
Since taking office, Obama has mustered his powerful campaign army and Web tools to lobby on behalf of health care and finance reform and a host of other issues.
   
The appeal to grass roots supporters closely follows the tactics Obama used during his triumphant election campaign, when he relied heavily on the Internet for organizing, fundraising and communicating.
   
The White House has a channel on YouTube in addition to its presence on Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and Twitter and has unveiled a free application for the Apple iPhone which features live video streaming of presidential events.
   
If confirmed by the Senate, Kagan, 50, the former dean of Harvard Law school, would be the fourth women to serve on the court, and the first non judge to ascend to the summit of US justice for 40 years.

Date created : 2010-05-11

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