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:[jump]
@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?
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:
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:
Cool! Marty retweets McGuire:
The question goes up on the White House screen.
Obama on homeowners under water: Have made some progress, but more needed, looking at options
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?
McGuire's polite. Maybe a little more meat would have been nice, she suggests. Maybe something a little more, shall we say, relevant?
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: