President Obama met with three YouTube stars -- each with millions of followers -- to discuss his State of the Union address on Thursday.
The White House hoped to reach new audiences with the move, and it definitely felt different than most high-profile presidential interviews --especially when GloZell Green told the president that Fidel Castro"puts the dick in dictatorship." (Important note: Obama did not see the questions before the interviews.) This is how Obama reacted to that line:
GloZell had one other small flub. When giving Obama green lipstick -- like the kind she was wearing during the interview -- to give to his daughters and Michelle Obama, she referred the first lady as his "first wife."
Obama also revealed that he thinks flying would be pretty cool -- as would being able to speak any language.
Overall, however, the YouTube hosts stuck to asking serious and earnest questions about Obama's policy goals and achievements. Hank Green, an education vlogger, asked Obama whether he thought his administration will be remembered for misusing drones ("We have tried to put a series of constraints on how its used") and sanctions against North Korea, ending his interview by noting how Obamacare had improved his life. Bethany Mota -- the White House called her "an iconic young millenial creator," asked about Boko Haram and why young people should care about politics, and GloZell asked about race relations and the upcoming Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage. ("My hope is that they go ahead and recognize what I think the majority of people in America now recognize.”)
The comments that appeared next to the interview made us question the Obama administration's desire to reach people on YouTube. It's not clear to us how 9/11 truthers, #teens and sheeple will help the White House achieve its policy priorities. On the other hand, we don't run the country, so what do we know about building coalitions.
Other commenters had questionable taste...
... or just wanted to post things about the Illuminati. Most of the comments, being comments, are too vulgar to share here.
If you doubted the millennial credibility of this event, the three YouTube stars did take a selfie in front of the White House.
They also took a selfie at the end of the interviews with the president.
"This is the power of what the Internet is all about," said Obama. Uh huh.