President Obama took questions from the Reddit.com community today for a half hour, this post chronicles the questions and answers the POTUS gave to user questions.
Mr. Obama confirmed it was him by linking to his Twitter account and then answered a series of user questions.
He took these questions upon finishing up "a great rally in Charlottesville" and concluded it as he got going back to Washington DC for dinner. He thanked the Reddit community and stated that the session was "an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run."
He reminded people to vote in November and concluded by stating that the Reddit experience is "not bad!"
His question session saw to important issues being addressed by him, as follows (note: answers are in the exact grammar and spelling as they appear on Reddit).
When asked about the issue of internet freedom Mr. Obama stated that:
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.
Another Reddit user asked Mr. Obama what he is "going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?" to which Obama replied:
"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."
Upon being asked, "What was the most difficult decision that you had to make during the term?" the president stated that:
"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."
He also gave insight into his life when he answered a Reddit who asked him he how balances "family life" with "being the POTUS by stating that:
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.
When asked what the first thing he will do come November 7 whether he wins or loses the president stated that:
"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."
The board in its entirety can be viewed here.