The president finished his first Twitter town hall, and it came with all of the anticipated trappings: He made history with the first presidential live tweet and he fielded questions and answers from Twitter users in real time — not just the pre-selected questions chosen by the moderators days in advance.
But did Obama really innovate? Did he fundamentally change the way in which voters, the media and even elected officials communicate with him?
It’s not as if the president is new to Twitter. Obama’s live tweet wasn’t his first in-person tweet — that’s here — and the questions still went through curators, two of whom work for news publications that would send a reporter to a White House or campaign news conference to pose arguably much harder questions to the president.
It’s novel that the president opened up the White House to the Twitterverse — insofar as fielding curated questions via Twitter can be considered opening up. But we heard no evidence of a new tone in the public discourse with the president.
But what do you think? Are we wrong? Did the president innovate with this event, or was it merely a news conference-by-another-name?