Bits and pieces about free software and various other things.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Obama Townhall Meeting in Strasbourg

I've been able to catch the last 10 minutes of the townhallmeeting with President Obama in Strasbourg which has been broadcasted on different TV channels.

I think this has never happened before: a President of the United States is taking some time to answer questions from European students. The questions have not been pre-selected by some PR guy, Obama selected Students from the crowd which then had the possibility to ask him questions about everything. One question (the last one) was: "do you regret having candidated for presidency?", rather a personal question to which President Obama gave a long answer about how he felt during the campaign, not seeing his wife and doughters very often.

Overall Obama talked for 25min and took 35min to answer the questions from students. This was a brilliant step, I would like to see more such events from our heads of state as well.


Jeff Walden said...

I'd like to have seen more of them, too -- back when McCain proposed a series of ten townhall discussions in which they both would participate, with no scripted questions at all, just whatever the audience chose to ask. This was back during the election, and Obama had more skin in the game (if he messes up this townhall, does it matter? not at all) then, so he naturally declined because he didn't want to enter a real debate from which he might have emerged worse off.

Don't think this townhall was more than a chance to opportunistically get good press; Obama is a politician, no more, no less.

Flex said...

You are right, Obama is a politician and this is pretty good press for him.

I'm so excited about this because I've never seen anything similar happening...

Anyways: whats the job of a politician? To listen to the people and make good decisions for them. I don't know if Obama really cares what happened there, but he definitely showed that politicians have to listen more to the people they decide for, not only the few industrialists who provide the big money. We will see if it was just a publicity event or if Obama will make the change happen :)

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