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Saturday, September 15, 2012

President’s Campaign Trail Led to Reddit

Barack Obama has recently come to social website Reddit to post a thread in IAMA, the section where people want Redditors to ask them questions. Taking into account Reddit's enormous user base, mostly of a liberal Internet-savvy constitution, the move in question was a PR hit in spite of the fact that Obama refused to tackle a lot of the trickier questions.

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The President spent a half an hour responding to various questions before, as he said, he went for dinner with his family. Reading through the responses he gave, you would learn that he is sympathetic for how tough the modern economy is for the graduates, and know the most difficult decision he had to make. Obama admitted that surging American forces in Afghanistan was really the toughest thing to do. He also insisted the country will end the war in 2 years. Finally, the President announced that the White House is going to release the recipe for its own beer, and that “it’s tasty”.

During just thirty minutes, which must be understandable for a person considered to be one of the most important in the world, Obama successfully came across as affable and serious with his answers. Well, it might be easier experienced people to find some of the PR language there. As one of the Reddit users rightly noted, Obama “probably has something to promote”, which clearly refers to the upcoming elections in 2012. The experts agree that the President opening himself up to such a risky format and questions – particularly among the community known for its humor and occasional irreverence – seems to have paid off for his public image. At the moment, the top comments are mostly the questions that Obama answered, as they received enough upvotes from the community to keep them up there.

The experts admitted that the move was a definite success. The President said enough to show that he provided reasoned and thoughtful responses without giving much away. Of course, 30 minutes is not enough for a sufficient grilling. Actually, you can notice some similarities between Reddit itself and what the US purports to stand for: democracy. Obama offered a nod to online freedom, saying that he knows Internet freedom is something everyone cares passionately about, adding: “I do too”. The President contended that his party would fight hard to make sure that the web remains the open forum for everyone.

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