DES MOINES, IOWA (CNN) – It was a mini Twitter town hall.
After delivering remarks on his clean energy policy in Newton, Iowa, President Obama sat down at a laptop and answered a handful of questions on Twitter that had been submitted hours earlier by the tweeting public.
“This is barack-let’s get this started!” Mr. Obama typed.
In 40 characters or less questions ranged from help for homeowners stuck in under water mortgages, energy independence, to assistance for small businesses.
“ What plans do u have to keep us & our fellow smlbiz afloat?” one person wrote.
First Lady Michelle Obama has officially joined the millions of people around the world who tweet.
Her handle, @MichelleObama, will be managed day-to-day by the Obama 2012 campaign and like her husband's account most of her tweets will be generated by the campaign staff. The tweets she personally sends will be signed with a "-mo" at the end.
Her inaugural tweet: "We're excited today to launch @michelleobama as a new way for you to connect with First Lady Michelle Obama and the President's campaign."
So far the first lady hasn't officially shared any personal updates but within hours of its creation, the @MichelleObama handle had close to 65,000 followers. Since its creation, President Obama's account has sent out more than 2,500 tweets to its 11 million followers though only a handful of them have been from the president himself.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama may no longer be face-to-face negotiating the ongoing debt ceiling talks but the Obama team is using Twitter and the president's handle as its latest tool to influence the Hill.
President Obama, using his signature "-BO" to show he actually tweeted himself, launched a flurry of tweets by saying:
"The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet. —BO"
The Obama team followed up with more than seventy tweets (and counting) listing the Twitter handles of Republican members of Congress encouraging followers to "urge them to support a bipartisan compromise to the debt crisis." @BarackObama, with more than 9 million Twitter followers and managed by the President's re-election office, has shown to be a powerful messaging resource.
During his prime time address on Monday night, President Obama asked Americans to make their voices heard by their representatives in Congress encouraging compromise. Americans responded – old school – calling their elected representatives in Washington. By the next day, phone lines and servers on Capitol Hill has reached capacity. After the president's similar plea on Friday, House telephone circuits were again on overload.
Whether President Barack Obama’s first ever Twitter town hall is considered a #success or #fail, it’s surely another example of the White House’s embrace of social media and technology.
Here’s a look back at some of the key uses of social media since Obama was elected:
In April, President Obama participated in a town hall moderated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. The president answered questions before a small audience about the economy and the federal deficit. The event was broadcast live, available to Facebook's more than 500 million users.
Nearly 22 million users ‘like’ the president’s Facebook page. It’s the 39th most popular fan page, slightly below the Black Eyed Peas but just above Oreo cookies. FULL POST
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama made history by being the first president to ever tweet when he wrote "in order to reduce the deficit,what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep – bo." He didn't keep his answers to 140 characters during his Twitter townhall on Wednesday afternoon but he did take 18 questions and gave feedback on 6 responses to his first-ever tweet.
Here's a running log of the Twitter townhall by CNN producers:
So, does that make this a successful forum to look towards in the future? Surely the pundits will bounce that around later.
[Updated at 3:03 p.m.] Welfare spending question gets a reaction from the audience.The person asking the question basically said that people won't try hard if everything is handed to them.
"Some welfare programs in the past were not well-defined, and did encourage dependency," Obama acknowledged.
However, Obama said the focus in social programs should be to give folks the tools to get in the work force and "let them know that we are there to support you and encourage you as long as you're showing responsibility."///
[Updated at 2:55 p.m.] CNN's Becky Brittain (@beckybcnn) notes: POTUS takes a break from economy and energy and answers question re: #NASA.
Obama discusses how private sectors will take the lead on the commercial aspect and the government on some groundbreaking innovations.
CNNMoney.com's @AnnCensky enjoys part of the response: "Obama: Let’s ultimately get to Mars – a good pit stop is an asteroid! @townhall #askobama
To see the entire live blog transcript, click here.