President Barack Obama Answers Questions from YouTubers: Recap
By Philip Cosores
President Barack Obama met with three YouTuber creators for a live interview session from the White House today. The event, which was live-streamed, was meant as a way for young people to interact with the government in a more direct way, reaching out with the hosts as proxies, and creating some candid and direct responses from the President.
Between the interviews, the President was presented with Google charts, revealing the most searched question during his state of the union was that of his age.
Hank Green began the interviews and included a clever quandary about the sanctions placed on North Korea after the recent alleged cyber attacks. In Green’s words, “I didn’t know there were any sanctions left to give.”
“There aren’t that many sanctions left,” Obama responded, noting that they are the most cut-off people in the world, and that the result is that they really can’t feed their own people. Eventually, we will see their government collapse and that it will be not through a military intervention, but through things like the internet that will ultimately be a major reason for getting through to the people.
Hank Green also had Obama autograph a picture of him getting a prescription for five dollars, a prescription he previously couldn’t afford without Obamacare.
GloZell Green was next and asked “How can we bridge the gap between African-American males and white cops?
“There are still biases that still exist when a person has to make a split second decision,” the President noted, specifying that they include that African-American males are seen as more threatening and older than they are. Among the suggested treatments for this plague were more body cameras, more training, and more federal influence on local policing.
GloZell Green also asked the President what his legacy is, to which he responded with a laundry list of accomplishments. “We saved a economy that was on the brink of depression,” Obama noted, also bringing up that they have 10 million new health-insured people, and that will grow.
Green also had the funniest gaffe of the interviews, mistakenly calling First Lady Michelle Obama the President’s “first wife” while presenting him with a handful of her signature green glitter lipstick to pass on to the women of the First Family.
The final interview came from Bethany Mota, and saw a direct question about “Why should young people take an interest in politics?”
Obama laid out numerous examples, from college, to the environment, to LGBT rights – that all are issues that affect young people. If young people want their reality to be shaped a certain way, they should be interested in the elected officials that make decisions and how they are made.
Mota also offered up a lightning round asking Obama his favorite TV show (Sportscenter), what he wanted to be growing up (architect, NBA player until 13 when he realized he wasn’t talented enough), and what would be his ideal superpower (flying, or the ability speak any language).
The event appropriately ended with a group selfie.
Watch a replay of the event here.