President Barack Obama discussed his State of the Union address during a Google+ Hangout today, beginning at 4:50 pm EST. During this “Fireside Hangout,” — a riff on FDR’s signature “fireside chats” — Obama took questions from a panel of participants, who included:
- John Green, author of the New York Times bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, and his brother Hank, who runs the YouTube channel “Vlogbrothers”
- Limor Fried, engineer and head of Adafruit Industries, a robotics company in NYC
- Lee Doren, creator of the conservative YouTube channel “How the World Works”
- Kira Davis, an African-American blogger who discusses conservative issues on YouTube
- Jacky Guerrero, LGBT and immigration activist and founder of xQsí, an online magazine,
The panel posed questions submitted by Americans nationwide.
Obama hosted a similar Google+ Hangout on Jan. 30, 2012, shortly after his Jan. 24 State of the Union address, which the White House dubbed “the first online conversation to happen at the White House in real time.” The President discussed drone strikes and online piracy, though most of the questions were about the economy. When the wife of a semiconductor engineer said that her husband had been out of work for three years, the President told her to send him her husband’s résumé.
Last month, the White House hosted two Google+ Hangouts: Vice President Joe Biden discussed policy proposals about curbing gun violence, and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, discussed immigration reform.