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Obama answers Robin Marty's question on Twitter

Hi Robin, it's me, Barack. Look, I'm tweeting a lame answer to your question.

Hi Robin, it's me, Barack. Look, I'm tweeting a lame answer to your question.

Barack Obama wants everyone to know he's on board with the whole Twitter thing, so his press folks staged a town hall yesterday for him to interact with questioners in the Twitterverse.

That sounded good to local scribe and activist Robin Marty. She navigated a regional facilitator (the Strib's Kara McGuire), who filtered a deluge of questions, and who then retweeted Marty's question with an #AskObama hashtag.

Marty's question defied the odds and got through to what amounted to a press conference, or a Twitter conference, at the White House. Here's the breakdown, starting when Marty posts this question:

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@Kara_McGuire How will admin work to help underwater homeowners who aren't behind in payments but are trapped in homes they can't sell?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

McGuire edits the question for brevity, then retweets it to the #AskObama hashtag so that it will grab the attention of the White House flunkies running interference:

Robin Marty, at the White House.

Robin Marty, at the White House.

RT @robinmarty: How will admin work to help underwater homeowners who aren't behind in payments but can't sell? #AskObamaless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

A few minutes tick by, and then McGuire fires off a tweet @robinmarty: Her question has reached the ears of the president, and he's paying attention:

@robinmarty The President is answering your question #AskObamaless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

Cool! Marty retweets McGuire:

!!!! RT @Kara_McGuire: @robinmarty The President is answering your question #AskObamaless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

The question goes up on the White House screen.

And ... here it comes ... the big answer:

Obama on homeowners under water: Have made some progress, but more needed, looking at optionsless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Wait. That's it? "Looking at options?" The president actually took longer to answer the question while talking to an audience in the White House. You can see his answer about 20 minutes into the clip posted below.

@robinmarty What did you think of his answer?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

McGuire's polite. Maybe a little more meat would have been nice, she suggests. Maybe something a little more, shall we say, relevant?

[email protected]Kara_McGuire I would have liked an answer for people who DON'T want to stay in their homes. that's why economy can't recover -- no movingless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

And so ends another day of political image management.

No one seriously expects the leader of the free world to answer a question on domestic housing policy in 140 characters or less, much less in public, with any kind of gravitas. And this is a publicity stunt, after all. Still, Obama's tweet was totally lame.

Watch the president tweet: