President Obama took to YouTube today and managed not even meet a single troll in the comments section. The interview was pretty dull and completely conflict free. It seemed like a normal speech for Obama, hyping up his Race To Start program and promising eventual aid for every person in need by creating new government programs, yet still cut government spending. It was everything we heard at the State Of The Union Address but this time Obama got to sit down and face a 20-something tech employee instead of standing in front of Congress.
There was not a single question about gay marriage, which is surprising considering you might expect a YouTube session to skew toward a more youthful viewer, but alas. There were far too many questions on education, making it fairly obvious that Obama’s people picked the questions since that was his lead issue during the State of The Union as well.
The first question was asked by a unemployed former member of the armed forces asking what Obama would do to help him out. “We are making a big push with employers to hire military servicemen,” Obama said, before adding that “they’re going to make great assets to help rebuild this country.” When asked about the other major unemployed set, college grads, he said that the administration has tried to help by “shifting billions of dollars in our student loan programs.”
Obama was shy to give away any real details about his budget but did say that cuts would come from the elimination of some community action grants. His frequently used metaphor of “cutting with a scalpel instead of a chainsaw” was employed nicely here. He finished that part of the interview by promising that “the budget is going to end up saving $400 billion dollars or so.”
Everything he said about education was said in his Address this week.
But Obama did add a nice little quip about parenting: “nothing government does replaces the role of parents in education…If we are parents we got to step up our game making sure our kids learn…building a culture around the love of learning is crucial.”
During a lightning round during, Obama said that his favorite thing about being president was “doing something you know that has a direct impact on someone.” His least favorite? “The bubble. I can’t go for a walk or the corner coffee shop, I can’t leave the house and not shave with my sweats on. That’s one thing I’ll never get used to.” His favorite class during college was a political science course taught by Roger Boesche at Occidental College. He’s still teaching now and is currently instructing a course called “From the Ten Commandments to the Death of God.” We’re sure Glenn Beck will have a field day with that one!
Here’s a picture of Professor Boesche for Tea Partiers to draw devil horns on:
He added that he wants to “stay neutral when it comes to the Superbowl,” he has to get an expensive Valentine’s Day present for Michelle (who really “just wants time!” Aw!), and that his favorite YouTube videos are sports highlights.
Over 300 of the top questions were about the legalization of marijuana. Instead of brushing off the question as a joke, he actually addressed it saying, “these are all issues worth exploring and a legitimate debate.”
After stating that he does not support the legalization of marijuana, he said, “I am a strong believer that we have to think about drugs as a public health problem. Typically we’ve made huge strides over the last 30 years by changes attitudes….We don’t think about how we shrink demand.”
He added, “We have to go after drug cartels but also are creating havoc along the border. In some cities it may take six months for you to go into a drug treatment center…we’ve got to do more with getting resources on that end of it.”
Overall, instead of Obama answering questions from people that don’t listen to anything he says on a regular basis, we’d rather hear his opinions on something like this.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 27, 2011