During the debates on healthcare reform, the words “town hall” became a touch point phrase. Thinking back, you may remember associating the phrase with a myriad of things: confederate flags, Nazi posters, socialist accusations among other things. It was a nasty political climate with the rhetoric giving way to below the belt jabbing and congressional jeering from elected officials who should have known better.

The town halls filled with anger seemed to have quelled down in the fast few months. So when we heard the town halls were back, we immediate cringed. But this time with a budget shutdown looming, it seems that it’s President Obama who is going on the offense early in the game.

President Obama has announced her will be holding a Facebook Town Hall on the budget.  The event is slated for April 20th and will be held at Facebook’s headquarters. Both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg will be present, taking questions from users for the President.

While the event is sponsored by the White House, many strategists are viewing the event as a preview of the Obama 2012 campaign.  And some have said that the President’s old new media strategy will need to be revamped for his upcoming campaign. As one top Democratic online operative told The Huffington Post:

“I’m not saying Facebook isn’t important. It is very important. And it is great the White House is engaging people on Facebook. I think what people were objecting to is the thesis of the article, which is that email and blogs are dead and social media has to be the focus in 2012 because times are so different.”

What do you think of President Obama using social media efforts to address the budget debates? Share your thoughts Clutchettes!

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