"I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA"
(Scroll down for his responses)
Reddit moderators and administrators quickly confirmed it was actually Obama in the comment thread, and Obama himself posted on his verified campaign Twitter account that it was indeed him.
The IAmA Reddit series allows Reddit users to ask questions of people from many walks of life, as seen here, and vote up their favorite questions and responses. It is a crowd-sourced Q&A of sorts hosted by the Internet.
The Washington Post reports that Obama is hosting the Q&A during a campaign stop in the same city Reddit was born in 2005 -- Charlottesville, Va.
Obama included the following in his 10th and final response:
"Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. "
So looks like that's it. Scroll down for a look back at his responses and find the full thread here.
In case you missed it, in one of his responses, Obama wrote: "if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!"
Obama's response on unemployment and the economy was 297 words long. It was posted 15 minutes after his previous post on the White House beer for the longest gap between posts.
gobearss asks, "How do you balance family life and hobbies with, well, being the POTUS?"
It's hard - truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I'm spending enough time with michelle and the girls. The big advantage I have is that I live above the store - so I have no commute! So we make sure that when I'm in DC I never miss dinner with them at 6:30 pm - even if I have to go back down to the Oval for work later in the evening. I do work out every morning as well, and try to get a basketball or golf game in on the weekends just to get out of the bubble. Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER - if you need to know how to register, go to Gottaregister.com. By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!
Reddit user hmlee posts:
I am recent law school graduate. Despite graduating from a top school, I find myself unemployed with a large student loan debt burden. While I'm sure my immediate prospects will improve in time, it's difficult to be optimistic about the future knowing that my ability to live a productive life -- to have a fulfilling career, to buy a house, to someday raise a family -- is hampered by my debt and the bleak economic outlook for young people. I know that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Many of us are demoralized. Your 2008 campaign was successful in large part due to the efforts of younger demographics. We worked for you, we campaigned for you, and we turned out in record numbers to vote for you. What can I say to encourage those in similar situations as I am to show up again in November? What hope can you offer us for your second term?
I understand how tough it is out there for recent grads. You're right - your long term prospects are great, but that doesn't help in the short term. Obviously some of the steps we have taken already help young people at the start of their careers. Because of the health care bill, you can stay on your parent's plan until you're twenty six. Because of our student loan bill, we are lowering the debt burdens that young people have to carry. But the key for your future, and all our futures, is an economy that is growing and creating solid middle class jobs - and that's why the choice in this election is so important. The other party has two ideas for growth - more taxs cuts for the wealthy (paid for by raising tax burdens on the middle class and gutting investments like education) and getting rid of regulations we've put in place to control the excesses on wall street and help consumers. These ideas have been tried, they didnt work, and will make the economy worse. I want to keep promoting advanced manufacturing that will bring jobs back to America, promote all-American energy sources (including wind and solar), keep investing in education and make college more affordable, rebuild our infrastructure, invest in science, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way with prudent spending cuts and higher taxes on folks making more than 0,000/year. I don't promise that this will solve all our immediate economic challenges, but my plans will lay the foundation for long term growth for your generation, and for generations to follow. So don't be discouraged - we didn't get into this fix overnight, and we won't get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more.
If you're having trouble accessing Reddit right now, you're not alone.
Many Twitter users are saying they can't log on. You may see the message: "reddit is under heavy load right now, sorry. Try again in a few minutes."
Peter Kafka explains on AllThingsD how Reddit got Obama to do the Q&A.
According to Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit:
There’s not a lot to it. I’ve gotten to know quite a few folks in the WH & Obama campaign team over the years and it was always something I brought up when I got the chance. There are quite a few redditors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and at the campaign HQ — given the prominence of reddit, it’s an easy sell.
Silent1mezzo asks, "What's the recipe for the White House's beer?"
Obama responds, "It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty."
Suzmerk asks, "What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?"
Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.
According to Reddit's counter, the AMA has had 1,853,997 readers so far (and counting).
FifthSurprise asks, "What was the most difficult decision that you had to make during this term?"
The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban's momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead - so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget.
Daveforamerica posted: "What is the first thing you'll do on November 7th, win or lose?"
Win or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.
PartyInYourMouth posts: "How are you going help small businesses in 2013 and 2014? and what if any bills are you going to impliment for small businesses, in 2013, and 2014?"
We've really focused on this since I came into office - 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have 0,000 or less in income, make it easier for small business to access financing, and expand their opportunities to export. And we will be implementing the Jobs Act bill that I signed that will make it easier for startups to access crowd-funding and reduce their tax burden at the start-up stage.
A light-hearted third response.
Karlfranks asked, "Who's your favorite Basketball player?"
Obama responded: "Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy."
Obama's second response was regarding a question on Internet Freedom.
SharkGirl posted "We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?"
Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although their will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.
In response to questions whether or not it's really Obama, he also posted this photo evidence.
Obama responded to the top-voted question first.
Reddit user ormirian asked, "Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?"
Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level - so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.
As it begins. According to Reddit.
(April 27, 2011) -- The White House released President Barack Obama's "long form" birth certificate, adding documentation to a longstanding discussion over his ability to serve as commander in chief. "We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Obama said. "We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to do. We have got big problems to solve." (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
(May 1, 2011) -- In a televised address to the nation, Obama announces that Osama bin Laden is dead. His death was the result of a U.S. operation launched today in Abbottabad, Pakistan, against a compound where bin Laden was believed to be hiding. "[T]oday's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people," Obama proclaimed. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)
(Aug. 2, 2011) -- After the Senate passed a bill to raise the debt limit, Obama pleaded with Congress to shift their attention to jobs. "I will urge them to immediately take some steps -- bipartisan, common-sense steps -- that will make a difference; that will create a climate where businesses can hire, where folks have more money in their pockets to spend, where people who are out of work can find good jobs," he said. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
(Sept. 20, 2011) -- As the ban on gays serving in the military came to an end, Obama hailed the fresh start, celebrating the fact that "patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love." (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
(Oct. 21, 2011) -- Obama announced that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by 2011, fulfilling a promise that dated back to his campaign. "As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end," Obama said. "So today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year." (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
(Jan. 20, 2012) -- During a fundraiser at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater, Obama delivered a memorable musical message to his donors. With Rev. Al Green in attendance, Obama sang part of Green's hit song "Let's Stay Together," drawing strong applause from the crowd.
(Feb. 21, 2012) -- Days after his Al Green rendition, Obama flexed his vocal chords again with a hometown favorite. The East Room of the White House had its blues fix filled when the president started swinging "Sweet Home Chicago."
(May 9, 2012) -- In a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, Obama explained his evolution on the issue, affirming his support for gay marriage. "[A]t a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," he said.
(June 15, 2012) -- The Obama administration addressed America's immigration issue, announcing that it will halt deportations and grant work permits to young individuals eligible for Dream-Act benefits. "They pledge allegiance to our flag," Obama said. "They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper."(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(June 28, 2012) -- After weeks of speculation that Obama's signature piece of legislation could be overturned, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is constitutional. "It should be pretty clear that I didn't do this because it's good politics," Obama said. "I did it because it's good for the country." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)