In what could be called a modern-day version of the Fireside Chat, President Barack Obama will be holding the first presidential town hall session using Twitter at 2pm EST on Wednesday.
In the midst of the Great Depression in 1933, President Roosevelt first addressed US citizens via radio broadcasts as a way to rebuild America’s trust and confidence in its government. In the midst of an ongoing weak modern market, and leading towards a 2012 election, President Obama will be addressing economy and job issues and answering questions, according to a tweet from the White House.
A Twitter Q&A between citizens and political leaders seems like a positive move towards community involvement with less pontification and more getting to the point as responses are limited to 140 characters. Twitter users can submit their questions with the hashtag #AskObama on twitter.com or via the askobama.twitter.com website. Twitter co-founder and executive chairman Jack Dorsey will moderate the conversation and answers will be live-streamed.
The president wrote his first personal tweet on Father’s Day and signed the message with his initials, BO. In the months leading up to the 2012 election, Obama promises to personally tweet on a regular basis and will sign those he writes himself with his initials.
Obama in not new to the social media bandwagon; in recent months he has used websites such as Facebook and YouTube as a platform for Q&A and town hall meetings, something FDR would have probably enjoyed himself had the golden age of radio not been limited to one-way radio communication and hand-written letters.