The Obama White House, which likes to consider itself pioneers in the realm of social media, will make history of sorts once again Wednesday when it hosts what’s being called the first ever White House Twitter town hall.
But those who hope this president, known for his oft- lengthy responses to even the shortest of questions, is confined to Twitter’s 140-character limit will be sorely disappointed. The president is merely answering questions selected from Twitter users, not responding on the social media site itself.
Indeed, with the exception of questions coming from Twitter users (or, tweeps), the East Room town hall event will be like many this president has done before: fielding pre-selected questions conveyed via new media technologies while giving “old-fashioned” answers with a microphone.
“He's just answering the questions. He's not typing and tweeting,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said of the event Friday. Still the event is a major coup for the five-year old company that was barely on the radar only one campaign cycle ago.
White House officials have also said the so-called “Tweetup” is a fresh opportunity for the president to engage with Americans beyond the Beltway. The event will also feature an audience of about 140 individuals (no, not a coincidence that's the number of characters allowed in a tweet) who regularly follow the White House twitter feed and signed up for a chance to attend the event via the White House Web site.
But the event’s ultimate gatekeeper will be Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who is tasked with monitoring the expected flood of tweets that will stream in attached with the official #AskObama hash tag. The White House has also said the president will only entertain questions about jobs and the economy and the questions will be drawn for a “geographically diverse” pool.
Obama held a similar Facebook town hall at the web giant’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California in the Spring and a YouTube town hall at the White House in February. At both events, the White House was criticized for ignoring the subject that drew by far the most queries: whether he supports legalizing marijuana.
Though the president rarely tweets himself, the administration has increasingly embraced the social media network as a way to bypass traditional media outlets and convey information directly to supporters. Several senior administration officials now tweet regularly, including White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer and Press Secretary Jay Carney.
The thing has nothing important to say unless it is "I resign".
You're disgustingly negative. He's not a thing- he's the president of the United States of America
I agree and hope so.
You could hold your breath.
@ cobra who exactly are you refering to as the thing?
Now George your not really that dumb.
Of course he is too much of a coward and aliar to answer any question truthfully.
Why must my comments stay in moderation and then never be posted. Is it because i say negative remarks toward the fraud Obama?
Perhaps the Obama White House can hire Sara Palin to translate his lengthly, well-thought-out articulate answers in to her language of choice, idiotic Twitter-talk.
I'm not happy...with too many people in that White House...Right Now!!
@ cobra....."Your mama!" She must be a 'thing', to have "birthed" your ignorant Ass! You don't have to like the president, but, you should respect the office and the fact that he is a human being...and his blood is the same color as yours-unless you really are a 'cobra'!!!!
WHAT is the point? For two days the banner on CNN said that the founder of Twitter will choose the questions that Obama will answer. Then, after two days, that beginning of the banner mysteriously disappeared. WALLAH! More disappearing info about the missing President just like the travel expenses list that WE pay. We will never know all the shenanigans but we sure know how much it's costing us and the next few generations.
What happened to transparency in government is twitter the best you can do. Stop coprruption and save our chance at democracy if it is still available.
PERHAPS THE PRESIDENT COULD TALK ABOUT FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC AND HOW REDUCING THOSE OUTRAGEOUS PRINCIPLES ON HOME LOANS WOULD HELP THE ECONOMY. THANKYOU.
I believe in Obama. His role in leadership has had a direct effect on me because of the Home Loan Modification Programs. Where are the millions of people who benefited from that? They need to speak up and stop letting the Obama-Busters to be the only representatives of Obama's role in Leadership.
I am dying to know what will the questions
Obama, how about those bonuses Congress dished out to employees how about those savings, Oh i guess they do not have to suffer like us little american peons? maybe thier children don't go to bed hungry like those homeless children in Seminole from Dateline because we the peons are the ones that take care of things.
cobra-that was so uncalled for. I am thankful there is a way to communicate with and that it is safe for our President. Unfortunately there will be comments from others like cobra
Here's my idea~ hire Suzy Orman! She'll fix you and the financial problems of our country! She's helped millions of people. You're not an accountant! Take my advice
Whatever. This guy is toast if the American people can pull themselves up by the boot straps and quit making excuses for this guy and vote someone with different solutions into the White House next year. He can tweet all he wants and put himself on facebook and campaign all he wants but we all know that those things so early in the game take his eye off the ball.....doing the right thing for this country. Vote him out America. We need to put this country back on the right track.
Why come we cant bring our jobs back to the united states
Just so anyone interested will know. The rights and sexual preferences of gays are not exactly on the top of our list of priorities. We are a little more interested in the plight of those living beings currently being abused, be it humans or otherwise. Hope you understand. If not, who cares.
millennium, progress approach
I`ts on the table for u critis in plain view to see. talk now.
He is doing a great job! Give credit where it is due.
A 21st. century President indeed!!
Is Twitter or Tweeter?
Or is it lie now and I'll lie later if I can remember what I said the first time.
Mr. President, you are the best. Keep it going.
One thing I can say about President Obama, he gave all the racist like Cobra to come out of the closet. It must feel pretty good to get out from under that sheet.
LET GO MR. PRESIDENT!!!
Twat in Chief uses Twitter.
That is the truth! Come on out from out from under 'them' sheets and hoods! You sick, pathetic American 'PATRIOTS'! You're shameless! GOD hep you; and GOD bless the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, PLEASE!
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