Ask the President

I received this today and thought I’d go ahead and post it for those who aren’t signed up for notices from the Obama camp:

Friend —

I wanted to tell you about an exciting new feature just launched on the White House website called “Open for Questions.”

Here’s how it works — President Obama is inviting everyone to ask a question about the economy and to rate other questions up or down.

On Thursday morning, the President will conduct an online town hall on the economy and answer some of the most popular questions live.

Watch a video of the President explaining this new feature and be a part of it now.

“Open for Questions” is an opportunity to open up the White House to all Americans.It’s an experiment designed to encourage transparency and accountability by giving you a direct line to the White House.

This first round will deal with the economy. Americans deserve to know what their government is doing to get our economy back on track. But it’s up to you to participate and make this experiment a success.

Join the discussion now:http://whitehouse.gov/OpenForQuestions

Thanks, and remember to check back Thursday to watch the President answer some of your questions live.

__________________________________________

While this, to me, smacks of pandering, I think it’s a pretty neat idea–not that it will do much in terms of transparency and accountability, how could it? But it does give people a “voice” . . . it should be noted in the interest of “transparency” that the Bush White House had on its website a similar forum for citizen’s questions and comments.

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3 thoughts on “Ask the President

  1. did it? i never heard about it. makes you wonder what the hell good it is/was. probably like those buttons at crosswalks. “push here for light”.

  2. Yeah, the Bush White House .gov site had a “contact us” sort of deal where people could write in (and you know I had to at least once!). I’m not sure if Clinton’s did (I can’t remember seeing it on there, but that was a good long time ago, so who knows). This is the same sort of thing except that Obama will be answering select questions in some sort of video stream thingy. I think it’s pretty neat, but I’m not sure what exactly he hopes to accomplish this way, except maybe make people feel that he is listening? It’ll be interesting to check out, I think.

  3. UPDATE: “Open for Questions” is no longer “open.” When I first posted this and the link, you were taken directly to a page with the questions and vote option. Now, however, you have to register and log in (and there’s a nifty note telling you that your IP addy will be tracked by White House dot gov.). So much for “open.” And yes, I do understand that spammers and crazies must head there in droves, but there’s just something about that that makes me unhappy with the whole idea of Barack’s guy next door, come on in and put your feet up attempt.

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