Starting two hours before the Twitter Town Hall with President Barack Obama I followed the #AskObama trends on Twitter to see the type of questions they would be asking. There were various types of questions, some hostile, others serious, and more or less comical ones. It seems like of the tweets that were posted are a reflection of the current political climate.
The fear, anger and mistrust definitely dominated the twitter feed; however, some of the most shocking tweets I came across were of a more bigoted slant.
I’d say 20% were really substantive:
@brucelesley: Child poverty in the U.S. is approaching 25%. What is our nation doing to address this national crisis? #AskObama
20% were slanderous and inflammatory:
@southsalem: Who gave you the Mao Xmas ornament: Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko, Rashid Khalidi, VanJones? #AskObama
@anabeavenhauser: WWMD….What would Mohammad do? #askobama.
These comments definitely made me snicker at my desk with disgust. Although these comments did add a hostile feel to the monitoring of the incoming tweets they did not loom over the finished product of the actual Town Hall, and there were some substantive questions.
60% were somewhere in-between, and relatively harmless (if not funny )
@drbrown_bear: Mac or PC??? #AskObama.
@Kaore: Will you insist the Dems NOT cave to GOP hostage taking? Why do we CONSTANTLY insist on bipartisanship when they don’t want it? #askobama
Only seventeen out of what I can only assume were hunderds of thousand of questions were answered live on with Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey as moderator. My Tweetdeck was very chaotic and once the Q&A began I had to turn it off because questions were flying so quickly that it was impossible to read them fast enough. Truly, overwhelming.
I thought President Obama gave detailed, thoughtful answers to all of the questions he was asked, and overall I feel that it was a very powerful and insightful Town Hall. At this moment there are still questions flying on the #AskObama hashtag. It was an example of the all inclusiveness mentioned in previous posts (See Phil Ting Interview) that makes government transparency efficient and important. As Tweeter, jeremyt1982 said, “I think this #AskObama stream is really going to take off…”
The questions selected are listed below (as re-tweeted by @TownHall)
ModeledBehavior Modeled Behavior
So will you raise taxes on the middle class at least to W Bush [email protected] @townhall
pedsnursemarcia marcia schneider
@AssignmentDesk1 #AskObama Public Edu here in CA falling apart. Not grad enough skilled workers or smart citizens. Privitization looming?
flynnbw Brendan W. Flynn
@WhiteHouse We definitely need to get more vets into jobs. But when are we going to support the troops by cutting oil dependence? #AskObama
Is free-market an option? RT @whitehouse: Obama on homeowners underwater: Have made some progress, but+ needed, looking at options #askObama
almorrison88 Lane Morrison
#askobama What changes to the tax system do you think are necessary to help solve the deficit problem and for the system to be fair?
NickKristof Nicholas Kristof
#AskObama Was it a mistake to fail to get Republicans to commit to raise the debt ceiling, at the same time tax cuts were extended?
@whitehouse @townhall My question is can you give companies a tax break if they hire a Honorable discharged Veteran?
nealhannon Neal Hannon
Small biz create jobs. What incentives are you willing to support to improve small biz growth? #AskObama
johnboehner John Boehner
After embarking on a record spending binge that’s left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs? #AskObama
@Kara_McGuire How will admin work to help underwater homeowners who aren’t behind in payments but are trapped in homes they can’t sell?
pmglynn Patrick Glynn
Mr. President, In several states we have seen people lose their collective bargaining rights. Do you have a plan to rectify this? #AskObama
awg9988 Allison Good
@KimQuillenTP Will you focus on promoting alternative energy industries in oil states like Louisiana and Texas? #townhall
Immigrant entrepreneurs can build companies and create jobs for US workers. Will you support a startup visa program? #askobama
_RenegadeNerd_ Dexter Smith
#AskObama Mr. President, will you issue an executive order to raise the debt ceiling pursuant to section 4 of the 14th amendment?
dwhite105 Dustin White
Higher ed. is necessary for a stronger economy, but for some middle class Americans it’s becoming too expensive. What can be done? #askobama
dmscott David Meerman Scott
#AskObama Tech & knowledge industries are thriving, yet jobs discussion always centers on manufacturing. Why not be realistic about jobs?
conblog William Smith
@DrewHampshire: What mistakes have you made in handling this recession and what would you do differently? #askObama