New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Science & Tech
7 July 2011updated 01 Jul 2021 12:14pm

Obama’s answers not short, but tweet

The US President's first ever Twitter town hall meeting proves a test for his notorious oratory.

By Emanuelle Degli Esposti

In an effort to reach out to modern America, Barack Obama held his first ever witter town hall meeting on 6 July, in which he answered questions directed through the social networking site, Twitter.

For over an hour, the President answered questions submitted by the public using the hashtag #AskObama. The questions were selected by Twitter staff, who relied partly on an algorithm that measured which questions were the most popular.

One of the questions came from house speaker and Republican leader, John Boehner, who tweeted:

“After embarking on a record spending binge that’s left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs?”

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

The majority of questions were on the economy, with several on energy and environmental issues. A question asking what Obama would “do differently” prompted an answer about the difficulty of solving the housing crisis.

But the Twitter limit of 140 characters was vastly exceeded by Obama himself, who responded with spoken responses averaging 2,099 characters.

Content from our partners
An innovative approach to regional equity
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change

Topics in this article :