Obama’s Twitter Town Hall: Dorsey lobs hardball questions

Obama, Tweet

Obama, TweetBarack Obama sent his first tweet since announcing he would begin personally updating his social media accounts rather than have a campaign staff member do it.

The tweet was sent today during Obama’s Twitter Town Hall live broadcast hosted by Twitter Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey. The event let citizens ask the president questions by adding the #AskObama hash tag to the end of their message.

The tweet, sent from the White House’s official account, restated the first question Obama addressed: “in order to reduce the deficit,what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep – bo”.

Admittedly, the tweet was a bit bland. You would think Obama and his team could have come up with something better, especially considering the event was announced almost a week ago. Obama’s second tweet of his 2012 campaign might end up being more interesting, since he won’t have a live broadcast consuming his thoughts.

Dorsey did a good job of keeping the conversation serious during the event. He avoided off-topic tweets such as “And now for the most important question of the day: #STARWARS or #STARTREK?” and instead selected questions that were more pressing. With NASA’s shuttle program nearing an end, someone asked about the future of the space program.

Obama said he continues to support space exploration, “but rather than just continue same thing, let’s invest in tech advances for the next horizon.” That next horizon, he added, could be in commercial space travel or a mission to Mars.

The president also spent time discussing the budget, small businesses, government spending and education, among other topics. The broadcast highlighted questions from a variety of citizens as well as a few higher profile Twitter users. Both New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Speaker of the House John Boehner had their questions highlighted during the event by Dorsey.

“With 9.1% unemployment & “shovel ready” jobs a bust, will you admit the ‘stimulus’ was a mistake?” Boehner tweeted hours before the event started.

The entire broadcast will be available later today on The White House’s official website.

The Twitter Town Hall is the latest entry in Obama’s White House 2.0 initiative, which aims to make the White House more accessible via web services like Facebook and YouTube. Much like the Twitter event, the president has also participated in several Facebook Town Hall meetings.


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