The Week That Was: President Obama Introduces Us to "Julia"

Six things you need to know right now about the election and campaign news of 2012!

Now that the White House Correspondent's Dinner is over and President Obama's stand-up routine is done for another year, things can get back to "normal" on the election campaign trail. While we were all still chuckling about his jokes, as well as Jimmy Kimmel's, there were some other stories we were keeping an eye on for you. So, as always, iVillage presents our weekly six things you need to know right now about the 2012 campaign seasons in The Week That Was:

1. President Obama sneaks into Afghanistan. Is China next?
To mark the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, President Obama made a stealth trip to Afghanistan. Many Republicans pounced, claiming that the president turned an important foreign policy moment about America's involvement with Afghanistan into nothing more than an election year photo-op. Regardless of which side you come down on, some political observers are asking whether the president should pay less attention to an anniversary moment and more to a possible foreign relations nightmare as Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng escaped house arrest and sought refuge at the American Embassy, creating a potential foreign relations snafu as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on her way to Beijing for talks with Chinese officials on various economic issues.

2. Meet "Julia," President Obama's latest campaign surrogate
The latest effort from the president's re-election campaign is an interactive infographic called "The Life of Julia," which follows the life of a fictional American woman, comparing and contrasting what her life would be like under Obama administration's policies on health, education and the economy compared to Mitt Romney's policies. Needless to say, many Republicans claim the president is trying to win votes by promising American women endless government subsidies through their lives. No big surprise, many conservatives took to their new favorite social media attack tools, Twitter and Tumblr, to counter the effort.

3. "50 Shades" of John Edwards
The tawdry tale of former presidential candidate John Edwards is back in the news. What is supposed to be a six-week trial has many of us keeping track of the details -- and despite our best intentions, we can't seem to avert out eyes. Secret mistresses, a love child, the betrayal of a wife dying of cancer, friends turning on friends, even an alleged alien abduction! With the details like these coming out during testimony, some are dubbing it the real life version of the hot new book, "50 Shades of Grey." I don't know about you, but doesn't it feel like there's a made-for-TV movie in this sad story line?

4. Kim Kardashian *hearts* Rick Santorum
While Michele Bachmann has finally (but tepidly) endorsed GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, even after saying all sort of nasty things about him while she was still a presidential candidate, another notable woman still likes Rick Santorum. Apparently, Kim Kardashian had a chance to chat with the presidential hopeful at the last weekend's White House Correspondent's Dinner and said she liked how he'd involved his family in his campaign. Maybe Santorum would still be in the race if he'd gotten the Kardashian family blessing sooner? Or maybe she's just hoping for Santorum's endorsement for her potential mayoral run?

5. Should Michelle Obama be worried about her husband's ex-girlfriends?
The diaries we keep as girls and young women contain lots of secrets. But what if your college boyfriend was a guy named Barry Obama, who would later go on to be the leader of the free world? Would you spill the beans? At least one of President Obama's ex-girlfriends did for a forthcoming biography of the president, which is excerpted in the new issue of Vanity Fair. The good news for both Barack and Michelle is this -- there's not a lot of "dirt" there! But there is plenty of angst and flowery prose, like this passage:

“The sexual warmth is definitely there – but the rest of it has sharp edges and I’m finding it all unsettling and finding myself wanting to withdraw from it all.”

I wonder if there are any other ex-girlfriends out there? If so, I'm sure the Republican machine is looking for it!

6. Welcome back, President Bartlet!
Thanks again to the site Funny or Die, those of us who miss the days of The West Wing and President Jed Bartlet can get a quick fix, because both are back in a vignette dubbed Walk and Talk that features many of the show's stars, including a silver-haired Martin Sheen trying to convince the American people to do something that's good for them. "Impossible!" The comedy effort is also part of a real campaign to get us off our behinds and get a little exercise, called Everybody Walk. Do you think we'll all have to wear those 1970s jogging headbands?



Check back next Friday to see what makes our list of the six things you need to know right now for The Week That Was!

You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!

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