Obama is 1st US Prez to host a Twitter town hall

Barack Obama has become the first US President to host a Twitter town hall meeting.

Last Updated: Jul 07, 2011, 23:51 PM IST

Washington: Barack Obama has become the
first US President to host a Twitter town hall meeting to
reach out to weary Americans on a range of issues, including
the state of the world`s largest economy.

"I am going to make history here as the first President
to live tweet," Obama, the 44th US President, said as he
kicked off an event billed as a "Twitter Town Hall" from the
East Room of the White House yesterday.

Obama used a live webcast to answer questions, submitted
via tweets containing the hashtag #AskObama, on issues ranging
from jobs to the economy.

"It`s only 140 characters," moderator and Twitter`s co-
founder Jack Dorsey reminded Obama as he failed to keep his
answers to 140 characters.

During his tweeting session, Obama did take 18
questions and gave feedback on six responses.

A panel of users re-tweeted questions to choose those to
be asked.

Obama, who pioneered the use of social media during his
2008 election campaign, began the event by tweeting his own
question: "In order to reduce the deficit, what costs would
you cut and what investments would you keep?"

He then answered the question, saying the US must "make a
determination in what programmes could help us grow", like
programmes focused on clean air and water.
"It could cause a whole new spiral into a second
recession or worse," Obama said of the potential effects of a
failure to reduce the deficit.

Obama had previously said he wished to reduce the
deficit by USD 4 trillion in the next decade by trimming
domestic spending, including defence, and raising taxes on
wealthy Americans.

Macon Phillips, the White House Director of Digital
Strategy, said in a statement that the purpose of the Twitter
town hall meeting is to "try to find new opportunities to
connect with Americans around the country."