The Washington Post

State of the Union address: White House mobilizes social media network

A virtual State of the Union address?

Not quite. But the White House is mobilizing its massive social media network to engage as wide an audience as possible for President Obama’s annual report to Congress next Tuesday.

President Obama is applauded by House Speaker John Boehner while delivering his 2011 State of the Union address (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Obama’s speech at 9 p.m. will be streamed live at and afterward administration officials will participate in an online panel discussion.

The officials will answer questions sent in by White House followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google-plus, Carney said. There also will be a live studio audience.

“We’re very excited about all the ways we’re trying to provide access to the State of the Union,” Carney said. “It’s a terrific opportunity for the president to describe his vision of where he believes this country needs to go.”

The Obama administration has used social media aggressively to promote the president’s agenda. The White House’s Twitter account has 2.6 million followers, and the president’s campaign account has another 12 million. Obama’s Facebook page has 24.6 million fans, and his page on the newer Google+ network has 274,000.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

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