Friday, July 1, 2011
Obama to do Twitter chat on economy on July 6
President Barack Obama will hold a "town hall" webcast on the economy and jobs on Twitter next week, but don't expect his answers to be short.
The online service's normally ironclad 140-character limit -- the written "Tweet" format -- will apply to the questions the president receives but not to his answers.
The White House used Twitter to announce Wednesday's event and invited people to begin submitting queries.
The president, who has been praised for his oratorical skills and criticized at times for being too verbose, will appear on a webcast in a discussion moderated by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, the company's executive chairman, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday.
The White House Twitter account, which has 2.2 million followers, invited questions to a new account "@townhall" marked with the hashtag "AskObama."
Americans' pessimism about the sluggish U.S. economy, especially the 9.1 percent jobless rate, may be the biggest obstacle to Obama's hopes of winning re-election next year.
Shortly after the announcement, questions were coming in on topics including green jobs, innovation and corporations. A video feed of his answers will be streamed online. The 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) webcast will also include a "TweetUp," Twitter's term for a meeting of people who use Twitter.
The White House makes regular use of social media, which it sees as a way to get its message to a wide range of Americans and hear from them directly. Obama's Twitter feed -- he started writing the occasional tweet himself just this month -- is one of the most popular on the system, with 8.9 million followers.
Obama visited Facebook in April for a town hall with the popular social network site's founder, Mark Zuckerberg. TOI