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Sure, he can run a country, but can he tweet?


President Barack Obama is holding the first-ever town hall Q&A session with Americans via the social network Twitter on July 6. 

I for one, am very interested in the leader of our country’s attempt at intertwining social networking with government business. I don’t think I have any real problems with it; after all, the president held a Facebook town hall in April and successfully used the site during his 2008 campaign. 

His administration even created a new position, director of progressive media and online response, in May. 

So it seems to be working for him.

According to an article in the Washington Post, President Obama will host the Twittering event at the White House. 

I suppose that’s convenient anyway. No motorcade to deal with; he won’t have to faint at the pumps when his driver fills up Cadillac One; no fielding questions from people who are actually present (there will be a live audience, but they’re not allowed to ask him anything) so their possibly inverted brows at some of his responses will go unnoticed. 

Overall, it sounds like a win-win situation for the president. 

White House director of new media (which is apparently a different position than the impressive director of progressive media and online response) Macon Phillips said they are thinking about “other cool things that they can do at the White House.” 

While all of this sounds very “21st century,” very modernistic and certainly in step with the way things seem to be moving, I’m just the teeniest bit leery. The president said in 2009 that he was too clumsy to tweet. 

But it seems even our commander-in-chief wants to try and get his ideas across in 140 characters or less. But can he? 

Can he make his point that, for lack of a better word, pointedly? I suppose it’s worth a try. I just hope it doesn’t escalate into total White House media relations. 

I love Twitter and Facebook, and while most of the people I know use both venues, I also know quite a few who don’t. 

I just don’t want those folks feeling out of the loop, especially when it comes to things related to “we the people.” 

I have to commend the president for his realistic outlook where the pulse of the public is concerned. 

Twitter and Facebook are increasingly helpful tools where careers and opinions on issues are concerned, and it’s a proven fact that they can and do make a difference by giving many people one voice. I just don’t want tweeting and the like to replace good old fashioned, face-to-face human relations. Especially where matters of government — which is for all people — is concerned. 

And while aides assure everyone that the president will be giving verbal answers, the question remains, “Will he actually ‘tweet’ any of his responses?” 

We’ll see. And if he chooses to do so, let’s just hope he’s not as clumsy as he thinks he is. 

After all, we do have a reelection looming.



Angela Rogalski is a senior print journalism major who lives in Abbeville, Miss. Follow her on Twitter @abbeangel.