Last night President Barack Obama continued to be one badass motherfucker by taking time out of his busy schedule – which includes doing cool stuff like firing marshmallow cannons in the white house and singing karaoke – to take part in a live Q & A on Reddit. Or as Reddit and all those geeky Redditors call it, an AMA (Ask Me Anything).
In case you didn’t know, an Ask Me Anything is a popular feature on the site where a ‘celebrity’ or just a person with a cool story (for example someone who has worked in McDonalds for five years, someone who survived the Columbine massacre, a gay guy who married a straight girl etc) will log onto the site for a period of time and redditors can ask them anything and hopefully they’ll answer all the questions that are posed to them in that time period. It’s a popular feature on the site and a bunch of famous people have taken part in it before – like Woody Harrelson, Bear Grylls and Zach Braff – but nobody really of the calibre of Barack Obama. Obviously this caused the site to go into meltdown but the President still managed to answer his fair share of questions in his paltry half an hour session (to put this into context, some of the better AMA’s have lasted several hours). His answers were generally non-committal and shallow though, kind of like his twitter feed which clearly isn’t run by him. It seemed like each answer was almost written by a robot rather than a real person.
It was hoped that questions of a hard hitting and controversial nature would be answered and although questions about medical marijuana, Guantanamo Bay and soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder were asked they conveniently went unanswered, despite the fact they were voted to the top of the list to be answered. Lame. Of course, there are a lot of stupid questions that tend to get asked at these things and there are also usually a bunch of it normally depends how funny/cool the subject of the AMA is as to whether they get answered or not. Obama barely answered any of these too. In short, the AMA was kinda boring and lame and although it was cool that the President engaged in this new form of social media and interaction with ‘the people,’ it didn’t really succeed in accomplishing or achieving anything, except maybe the realisation that even though it’s a new form of interaction politicians are still going to be lame and non-committal about almost every question that they get asked.
If you’re interested, here’s a selection of some of the best questions and answers. They aren’t really that good:
We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you’d push to add to the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform?
Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody – from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won’t stray from that principle – and it will be reflected in the platform. <—- YAWN, whatever guy.
What’s the recipe for the White House’s beer?
It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty. <—-Stupid, not even funny and/or interesting.
Who’s your favourite Basketball player?
Jordan – I’m a Bulls guy. <—- Almost funny/interesting but not really. Almost controversial too but a guy saying his favourite basketball player is Michael Jordan is like a guy saying his favourite footballer is Pele or Maradona.
How do you balance family life and hobbies with, well, being the POTUS?
It’s hard – truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I’m spending enough time with michelle and the girls. The big advantage I have is that I live above the store – so I have no commute! So we make sure that when I’m in DC I never miss dinner with them at 6:30 pm – even if I have to go back down to the Oval for work later in the evening. I do work out every morning as well, and try to get a basketball or golf game in on the weekends just to get out of the bubble. Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I’m back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating – this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER – if you need to know how to register, go to Gottaregister.com. By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience – NOT BAD! <— kinda interesting. Cool abbreviation of President of The United States by the Redditor too.
Here are some of the questions Sick Chirpse wish he had answered. Don’t worry these are funny:
Mr President, what do you eat for breakfast?
What is your favourite episode of South Park?
Mr President, does Chicago really have the best steaks in the country?
Biggie or Tupac?
Pancakes or Waffles?
Chad and I were gonna order a couple of pizzas, want in?
Mr President, you do realise you’re going to break the internet right?
Toilet paper – facing out or facing in?
Do you think you could beat Abraham Lincoln in a knife fight?
What are your thoughts on Neil Degrasse Tyson, Freddie Mercury and Neil Patrick Harris?
What colour is your toothbrush?
As you can probably guess, answering all of those questions would have been way more fun than the boring answers he did give. I mean, I really, really need to know if he thinks he can take Abraham Lincoln or not.
If you want to check out the full transcript of the reddit session, you can do that HERE.