March 26, 2009

President Obama to Hold Online Town Hall on the Economy Today

ON TUESDAY the President invited everyone to use a new feature on called "Open for Questions" to ask a question about the economy and rate other questions up or down. As of March 26th, 91,849 people had submitted 103,255 questions and cast 3,577,508 votes.

Today at 11:30 AM Eastern the the President will conduct a special online town hall on the economy and answer some of the most popular questions and the event will be streamed on

"Open for Questions" is a new experiment for, the President’s latest effort to open up the White House and give Americans from around the country a direct line to the Administration. In a video announcing the experiement, President Obama says, "One of my priorities as President is opening up the White House to the American people so that folks will know what we're up to."

This first round will deal with a chief concern for all of us: the economy. According to the White House Blog, "We’ve created a few categories to better organize the questions, and encourage you to search for a specific question before you submit your own in case it already exists."

"To get started, head over to and set up your account. Then follow the simple instructions to start voting on questions or submit your own (we encourage you to include a link to a published video of the question being asked, although this is not required)."

In annoucning this effort the blog said, "This experiment is about encouraging transparency and accountability, so ask the President exactly what it is you want to know – but let others do the same. It is a community-moderated system, but remember that even though you may not like the viewpoint behind someone’s question, everyone has a right to their opinion. Also remember that Americans of all ages will be participating in this event, so be thoughtful about the words you choose. Participants are asked to follow some basic guidelines for submitting their own questions and flagging other questions as inappropriate.

So be part of history in the making and ask away. The team here at the White House can’t wait to see America’s response!"

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