During last night’s “Your Interview with the President” event sponsored by Google+, President Obama and Google completely and shamefully ignored the dominant questions — about marijuana – submitted by the American people.
The event by President Obama was framed as a way for the American people to directly ask Obama about the issues they cared about. People were encouraged to submit and vote for the questions they cared about the most. The primary questions that tens of thousands of people on the internet submitted and voted for were about marijuana legalization. Questions about marijuana policy reform dominated almost all of the top “most popular question” slots.
Yet neither the Google+ team nor the Obama team felt any obligation to address the issue that dominated the online forum. Just as bad, while ignoring the most popular issues chosen by those who actively tried to take part in this event, Google did find time to ask Obama about such pressing issues as his opinion about the political impact of SNL, how he gets his late night snacks, and his wedding anniversary plans.
If Obama is not going to address the one issue that dominated this online forum, he and his political advisers should at least have the decency to stop asking regular people to submit and vote for questions.
These online forums aren’t really about allowing regular people to have a direct two way communication with their president, if the president can simply ignore the questions people overwhelming said they wanted him to address. The Obama campaign team shouldn’t get to pretend an event like this gives regular people the chance to directly interview their president, when for all effective purposes it just provides an excuse for Google giving Obama an extremely softball interview.