You wouldn't think Barack Obama would have to introduce himself as the President of the United States, but when word got out that he'd be taking questions on Reddit, it seemed many thought this was too good to be true.
Yet that didn't stop thousands from flocking to the page. In fact, the mass amount of traffic had me waiting a few minutes in order to successfully join the chat, which was live for all of nine minutes when the comments had already topped 200+.
The very first of which confirmed with the Redditors that, yes, the President of the United States had indeed launched an AMA (Ask Me Anything).
[ Related: Why did President Obama do a Reddit 'AMA'? ]
Sporting the Reddit handle PresidentObama, Mr. President began the half-hour AMA just before 4:30 p.m. EST. Here are a few of our favourite Q and A's:
Question from FifthSurprise: "What was the most difficult decision that you had to make during this term?"
Answers: "The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban's momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead - so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget."
Question from daveforamerica: "What is the first thing you'll do on November 7th, win or lose?"
Answer: "Win or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices."
Question from suzmerk: "What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?"
Answer: "Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."
Question from ordinaryrendition: "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?"
Answer: "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."
Question from ormirian: "Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?"
Answer: "Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level - so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight."
Questions from karlfranks: "Who's your favourite Basketball player?"
Answer: "Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy."
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President Obama's closing thoughts: "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 http://gottaregister.com. By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!"