President Obama’s Fireside Chat – Tonight on Google Plus

Vincent Schilling
1/30/12

In the 1930s and 40s President Franklin D. Roosevelt shared over the radio the issues of the nation with families via fireside chats. In 2012, President Barack Obama is opting for Google Plus.

Tonight at 5:30 p.m. EST, in the White House’s first Google+ virtual event, President Obama will answer questions asked by a select group of citizens that will be invited live to Google+ “hangout” with our Nation’s leader.

In the Google+ hangout - a multi-user video chat room that is gaining serious popularity on the Google+ social media network, President Obama will answer select questions that had previously been submitted and voted on from the public via the White House’s YouTube Channel through January 28.

Over the course of two weeks, the public asked more than 133,000 questions to include inquiries about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and even questions on the legalization of Marijuana.

The virtual event will take place in the Roosevelt room and is expected to last approximately 45 minutes. President Obama’s answers will appear on a video stream hosted by Google+ and participants will be able to comment on the president’s remarks in real time.

In a recent White House release posted by Kori Schulman, the Deputy Director of Outreach for the Office of Digital Strategy, today’s Google+ hangout won’t be a one-time event.

“President Obama made clear that this Administration is committed to public engagement and participation. That’s why we launched the "We the People" petitioning tool and why you can find the White House on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other places around the web. These are just some of the ways that we aim to engage with Americans on the issues that matter the most – and now, we're pleased to add Google+ to this list.”

Schulman also said the President and First Lady often call the White House “The People’s House.” And that Google Hangouts are another way to open the doors of the White House, albeit “virtually.”

“On our Google+ page, we’ll host regular “White House Hangouts” with administration officials on a range of issues and topics. Some Google+ users will be invited to join the Hangout with the White House and have a conversation with policy experts,” said Schulman.

Schulman said the best part is that people don’t have to be in the hangout to watch the virtual town hall. “You can watch the whole thing live on WhiteHouse.gov, on our Google+ page or on the White House YouTube channel.”

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