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In Presidential first, Obama goes to Reddit

updated 06:46 pm EDT, Wed August 29, 2012

President's IAMA logs 12,058 comments

In a first for an American President -- and perhaps any President in the world -- Barack Obama hosted an IAMA ("I am a...") discussion on social news site Reddit. The President took questions on the site over the course of about half an hour starting this afternoon at 4:30 pm EST. News spread quickly of Obama's appearance on the site, and the resulting traffic caused the page hosting the discussion to be unavailable multiple times over the course of the IAMA.

Over the course of the discussion, Reddit users peppered the President with questions ranging from Internet legislation to his favorite basketball player (Michael Jordan) to tax and finance policy to the likelihood of the United States transitioning to the metric system. Mr. Obama responded to questions receiving the most votes: reiterating his administration's support for research to further manned space flight, putting forth tax plan, and giving details on his life outside of his duties as President, among other things.

Asked what the recipe for the White House's beer was, Obama responded, "It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty."

By all appearances, the discussion remained largely civil throughout. Negative or troublesome comments were either voted down by other Reddit users or avoided by the President and his team. Reddit user s0crates82 did manage to catch Obama in a minor slip, correcting his grammar on one response.

At the end of the forum, Obama thanked the Reddit community and acknowledged the site as an example of the power of the Internet in generating "the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run." The President signed off referencing a popular meme from the site. "By the way," he wrote, "if you want to know what I think about the whole reddit experience -- NOT BAD!"

The Reddit appearance marks the latest in a series of social media outreach efforts on the part of the Obama campaign, which relied heavily on the Internet and social media as a campaign tool in the 2008 election and is doing so again this year. The administration has previously gone to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets in order to interact with supporters and push initiatives.

The appearance did not go unnoticed by political activists. Shortly after the President signed off, Demand Progress -- a civil liberties activist group claiming one million members -- released a statement regarding Obama's statements in support of Internet freedom: "We're thrilled that the President is paying attention to our efforts: These lofty goals are admirable, and we absolutely share them. But it's critical that the Dems make sure that the platform language -- and their actions in office -- live up to this rhetoric."



By Electronista Staff
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  1. trinko

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-01-00

    Gee while Obama continues to avoid the White House reporters of even friendly sources like the Washington Post because they might ask hard questions like, "What is your plan to get unemployment down" or "How do you plan to reduce the deficit since even your own Treasury secretary says that your budget--that didn't get a vote from a single Democrat in the Senate--is unsustainable?"

    Meanwhile he goes on local stations--where he controls what questions he gets asked--and places like Reddit.

    If he had solutions for the nations economy he'd be shouting them from the rooftops. Instead he hides himself away from the tough questions and wages the most vile campaign of living memory.

  1. slinky

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-30-12

    "The most vile campaign of living memory"

    Were you here four years ago? or 8? or 12? This one doesn't seem any more or less vile than any of the thousands of local and national campaigns.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Enjoy the attention while you can, Barry. You're outta there in November.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by Mr. StratView Post


    Enjoy the attention while you can, Barry. You're outta there in November.


    At which point nobody will ever want to interview him again?

  1. trinko

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-01-00

    I don't recall any candidate, of either party, accusing the other of being a felon, of cheating on their taxes--with no proof--, or of being responsible for the death of a woman from cancer. Obama is running the dirtiest presidential campaign since the 19th century.

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by trinkoView Post


    I don't recall any candidate, of either party, accusing the other of being a felon, of cheating on their taxes--with no proof--, or of being responsible for the death of a woman from cancer. Obama is running the dirtiest presidential campaign since the 19th century.


    What is your source?

  1. Waragainstsleep

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 03-20-04

    First newspost thread to get moved to the PWL. Place your bets.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    I was under the impression that it was a Reddit AMA - Ask Me Anything. Not IAMA - I Am A... What does "I am a" even mean in this context.

    As for the Obama haters, please fact-check before posting. I realize and confirmed after last night that the concept of "facts" is difficult for the GOP, but please try. It'll make your opinion more valid.

  1. EstaNightshift

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Okay, gang. If you want to talk about the technical aspects of the AMA in here, fine.

    Keep the political grandstanding, ad hominem attacks, general name-calling, and remarks about candidate fitness in PWL, please.

  1. louisvuittongz

    Banned

    Joined: 09-01-12

    If he had solutions for the nations economy he'd be shouting them from the rooftops. Instead he hides himself away from the tough questions and wages the most vile campaign of living memory.
    [color=blue]spam link - Replica Handbags And Accessories[/color]

  1. besson3c

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 03-03-01

    Originally Posted by louisvuittongzView Post


    If he had solutions for the nations economy he'd be shouting them from the rooftops. Instead he hides himself away from the tough questions and wages the most vile campaign of living memory.
    spam link - Replica Handbags And Accessories


    Hehe... It is awesomely funny that spam bots have picked up on the posting patterns of the angry right to simulate their posting and behavior.

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