This afternoon, President Obama participated in a Google-sponsored, Google-approved video roundtable with a range of normal folk who moonlight as bloggers, entrepreneurs, and authors (including a certain one named John Green).
The hangout hit on the usual issues — the economy, immigration, gun control — with questions and answers moving like a town hall of the future. This meant there was time to talk about patent reform (thanks, red-headed kickstart advocate Limor Freid) and shots of Obama looking at a screen featuring his face looking at America.
Jackie Guerrero wanted to talk about immigration: Would the President continue to execute immigration standards he disagreed with until Congress passes reform? Yes, he said, — to a point.
Lee Doren wanted to talk about the drone program. Kira Davis wanted to talk about the minimum wage. Occasional guests were teleported in via YouTube.
Fried wondered whether the President supported a high requirement to take classes in computer programming? He’s interested, he said, thanks in part to a dinner table chat with Mark Zuckerberg some years ago.
And John Green wanted us all to consider the penny. That is: why is it still a thing? “I don’t know,” the President said.
Things kept moving in this fashion, with very little lost to bad video or one person talking over the other. (The future!)
Lastly, each of the attendants went around and asked a personal question of the President, like “What should we name our new baby?” — and relaxed, given the chance to act like they were in a sitcom co-starring a Mr. Feeny-esque President.
The White House should be uploading the full hangout soon, as it has done with hangouts past. Will you stand with John Green against the penny?