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President Barack Obama Joins Reddit

U.S. President Barack Obama is making an unscheduled appearance on Reddit today, doing an AMA, “Ask Me Anything“.

Hi, I’m Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything,” Barack Obama wrote at 4:15 p.m. eastern today.

Welcome to Reddit, Mr. President,” deadpanned TheAtomicPlayboy.

He is the first sitting president to participate in the site’s popular feature, for an half-hour AMA. The IAmA Reddit series allows Reddit users to ask questions of people from many walks of life, and vote up their favorite questions and responses. It is a crowd-sourced Q&A of sorts hosted by the Internet.

Barack Obama answered some questions about space programm, internet freedom, small businesses. Some of the questions follow here:

 

QUESTION: Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?

OBAMA: 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.

 

QUESTION: 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?

OBAMA: 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: Who’s your favorite Basketball Player?

OBAMA: Jordan – I’m a Bulls guy.

 

QUESTION: How are you going help small businesses in 2013 and 2014? and what if any bills are you going to implement for small businesses, in 2013, and 2014?

OBAMA: We’ve really focused on this since I came into office – 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have $250,000 or less in income, make it easier for small business to access financing, and expand their opportunities to export. And we will be implementing the Jobs Act bill that I signed that will make it easier for startups to access crowd-funding and reduce their tax burden at the start-up stage.

 

QUESTION: What is the first thing you’ll do on November 7th, win or lose?

OBAMA: 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: What was the most difficult decision that you had to make during this term?

OBAMA: 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: How do you balance family life and hobbies with, well, being the POTUS?

OBAMA: 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!

 

The president ended his AMA at 5:37 p.m. with a reference to a popular “rage comic” meme called “Not Bad Obama.”

See the full AMA thread and Obama’s answers here.

 
 
Image source:
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/science/obama.jpeg
 
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