President Obama surprised the online world today by taking questions on Reddit in the midst of the Republican National Convention's activities in Tampa. Lest you doubt (like I did), he tweeted about the discussion from his official Twitter account and included a photo on Reddit of him sitting in a chair at a laptop.
Hey, everyone: I'll be taking your questions online today. Ask yours here: OFA.BO/gBof44 -bo
Crazy stuff. President Obama introduced himself to Reddit:
Hi, I’m Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything. I’ll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at about 4:30 ET.
Proof it's me: https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/240903767350968320
We're running early and will get started soon.
UPDATE: Hey everybody - this is barack. Just finished a great rally in Charlottesville, and am looking forward to your questions. At the top, I do want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with folks who are dealing with Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf, and to let them know that we are going to be coordinating with state and local officials to make sure that we give families everything they need to recover.
Verification photo: http://i.imgur.com/oz0a7.jpg
Here are some questions and his responses with regard to the issues discussed this week at the Republican National Convention.
On small business:
We've really focused on this since I came into office - 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have $250,000 or less in income, make it easier for small business to access financing, and expand their opportunities to export. And we will be implementing the Jobs Act bill that I signed that will make it easier for startups to access crowd-funding and reduce their tax burden at the start-up stage.
Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.
And, of course, the obligatory sports question, who's your favorite basketball player, to which the president responded "Jordan. I'm a Bulls guy."
UPDATED 8/29/2012 6:33 pm CT
Wow, Reddit was down for quite a while there. Here are some of (what I thought were) the funniest questions asked of the president.
mimicthefrench ponders the leader of the free world laughing at kittens.
mthreat asks when the USA will move to the metric system. Maybe you had to be there. I thought it was hilarious.
DrAvatar asked what is in Area 51. REDDIT.
Fancer wants the president to fully understand he's going to break the Internet.
DirectCharge just kept chanting ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US.
What did you think of the president's RNC social media photo bomb?
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