President holds online town hall meeting via Google+
Obama answers variety of questions, including what he'll do when out of office
Most of the forum focuses on the economy
While reaching out to supporters through one of the latest high-tech means, President Obama expanded his social media experience by holding a Google+ video chat room interview Monday afternoon.
In an election year, it’s probably not good politics to talk about what you look forward to doing after your time in the White House, but that’s exactly what President Obama did when asked about the frustrations of living in the security bubble.
“It’s the toughest thing about being president. Look, this is the greatest job on Earth, and it’s such an honor to serve, but it is true sometimes, you get a little stir crazy,” he said “One of the things I look forward to after I’ve had this extraordinary honor is just taking a walk or waking up on Saturday morning, not shaving and going to the local Starbucks and not having to worry about it.”
The president was also asked to sing and dance, (which he refused) to say hello to one of the questioners’ young children, and from an Obama impersonator a question about the impact of comedy sketches on the election.
“I don’t know if any of this stuff affects an election, but I know that it makes our country stronger that you can make fun of the president – or anybody – and everybody can get a laugh,” President Obama said. “And that also makes sure to remind me that I work for you guys.”
Most of the forum, which came in the form of live video connections and video YouTube questions, focused on the economy.
“We’re starting to see some signs that the economy is picking up. We’ve created 3 million jobs over 22 months, and we saw the largest boost in manufacturing jobs that we’ve seen since the ‘90s. Best job growth we’ve seen since 2005. But we’ve still got a lot more to do,” President Obama said. “I have to keep this recovery going, that’s why it’s so important for us to extend the payroll tax cut.”
The live video chat room included five Americans in cities across the country. Participants were able to follow up with the president after his answers in real time.
Jennifer Wedel in Corpus Christi, Texas, asked the president why the government continues to extend visas for immigrant workers when there are many people, like her husband, who have been out of work.
President Obama offered to look at her husband’s resume to help him find an engineering job. “Forward me his resume,” he told her. “The word we’re getting is someone in that high-tech field should be able to find something right away. I want to follow up on that.”
The questions were chosen by Google team members from among the most top-rated of those submitted. Google maintains the White House had no role in the selection of the participants.
Obama also 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.