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2/5/2009
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Obama Site Aims To Raise Stimulus Support

President creates Web 2.0 tools to spread message and gain backing for economic plan.

President Obama has once again turned to the Internet to enlist help from ordinary Americans -- this time in his campaign to pass an economic stimulus package.

The president has asked his supporters to host house parties on Saturday to talk about the stimulus package and offered to answer their questions about how the plan will impact their community. It urges hosts to watch a video of Obama talking about his vision and a second video of Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine explaining the plan and answering as many questions as possible.

"We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action," Obama said in a statement posted on his Web site, BarackObama.com.

The site provides a guide with instructions and suggestions for planning the party, what to do during it, and how to follow up.

It encourages hosts to use online resources like e-mail lists to broaden the number of potential guests, register the meeting so each group gets its own page for discussion, and use sign-in sheets to track who attends. The Web site presents talking points, suggests that hosts begin the meetings by saying why they got involved, and urges people to take pictures during the meetings. It advises hosts to encourage guests to share personal stories and share community insights related to the current economic situation.

The Web site says partygoers should discuss the most important issues facing their communities, raise and try to answer as many questions as possible, and brainstorm ways to let more people know what Obama plans to do to improve the economy. Finally, it also suggests discussion of how to broaden support for Obama's plans.

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