President Obama’s pension for using social media on the campaign trail has been thoroughly covered. Whether on his Facebook page or through his tweets, the President’s team loves connecting with the online masses turning their followers, email contacts and friends into fundraising dollars. But yesterday, Obama’s White House wanted to be 100% clear: we are not tweeting for votes.
The lines between the campaign war room and the Oval Office was blurry as President Obama joined Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey for an hour-long live town hall meeting. Major cable news networks from CNN to MSNBC brought their regular programming to a hold, a move usually reserved for high-profile press conferences or breaking news. Addressing questions on everything from the economy, education and the budget debates using the #askObama hashtag, the President notched, what many observers would call, another public relations homerun.
Still, in the moments before the debate as the White House briefed the press on the logistics of the event- they were adamant to make clear that the town hall was not related to or in correlation with President Obama’s aspirations for a second term in office.
During a Tuesday conference call previewing the event, a senior administration official ducked a question about how Obama’s campaign team may slice and dice Twitter data from the event to gauge public opinion on a range of issues.
“I can’t comment on the campaign,” said Macon Phillips, the White House director of new media. In terms of how the White House may look at data, Phillips emphasized administration officials won’t have access to any data that isn’t already publicly disclosed by Twitter.
What do you make of President Obama’s Twitter Town Hall? Do you think his campaign will be smart to use Twitter user info to predict voter sentiment? Tell us what you think Clutchettes and gents- weigh in!