March 26th, 2009
12:18 PM ET
14 years ago

Liveblogging President Obama's town hall


Watch the Obama town hall on

On Tuesday, President Obama took questions from the national press corps - today, it's your turn. The president will be responding to questions from ordinary Americans this morning in a video live stream, and CNN wants hear what you think of the answers. If you'd like to weigh in, submit your comment here during the livecast. CNN Political Editor Mark Preston will be joining the conversation with instant analysis.

Click here to read the live blog and submit a comment!

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Join us here on the Political Ticker at 11:30 am ET.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    I"m all for legalizing marijuana. I think it's a ridiculous double standard given the legality of booze and tobacco and the insane damage that both do in our society when used irresponsibly. However, I think you have to take Obama's response to the questions in stride and in context. First, it's not a top-of-the-agenda item given the other more pressing concerns we must address right I wouldn't be suprised if it actually took him by suprise. You can't be prepared for all possible questions in the realm of political issues. Second, it's a hot button issue that elicits some pretty crazy and irrational responses from people on both sides and he was likely playing it off because he'd rather think it through and provide a responsible response, rather than something off the cuff that could come back to haunt him, which is very understandable given the problems along the Mexico border right now. Sure, he was being political...but what did you expect?

    March 26, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Maggie from Virginia

    Mike in Fairfax,

    The previous live town hall meetings he held were in districts that did not support him. Please pay better attention.

    March 26, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Mike in Fairfax

    Well Gosh! He graduated from Harvard Law?!? So did I, and I sure don't remember having an final exam where I had to think on my feet, or one where I didn't know which subject to study for. Look, I'm not against the guy. I just don't like what his administration has done to this point. If I could, as of today, I would go back and change my vote.

    March 26, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Brian Crooks

    March 26th, 2009 12:40 pm ET


    I mean one like this, where those who are not necessarily there to get a gander at his greatness might actually ask a question that doesn't just give him a chance to toss out his regular stump speech.

    That's what happened in CA. They weren't hand selected attendees, he didn't know what they would ask ahead of time. I just feel like you're being a little bit absurd here. You want him to hold an open town hall, but when he does you say everyone there is just there to gander at his greatness and not as a tough question. If I had a really hard question to ask him, I would get all my friends together right away and we would be the first ones in line. There's nothing to stop people who want to ask whatever they want from going to an open town hall.

    March 26, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Simmy

    Mike in Fairfax,

    How would your idea of a townhall meeting be different from the ones he gave, where the 'unfiltered' citizens in the audience asked questions? His responses at his news conferences are never filtered. He is the type person who likes to convey his message with preciseness. That is why he likes the teleprompter. But he thinks with swiftness, and confidence on his feet.

    March 26, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Chipster

    Mike in Fairfax: The election is over. Most of us made that evaluation BEFORE we voted. We know the President can "think on his feet," in a chair, in a car, at the table, and pretty much anywhere.

    President Obama, what I'd like to know now is how do you plan to get past this partisan bickering that has poisoned the political environment? It is apparent that you plan to be persistent in your effort to locate common ground at home and abroad. Do you believe there are any signs of progress on both fronts and, if so, can you offer examples? How do we move people like Mike, who are stuck in campaign mode, forward to solve the critical problems we face?

    March 26, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Jose

    When asked (Obama) if we could have a health care system comparable to the Canadians or Europeans, his answer was that we were "accustomed" to our current system, and even though it was not perfect, we should keep it. You know what other system we were accustomed to? slavery, it wasn't perfect, but it worked, maybe we should bring it back.
    Our health system is broken, the only people profiting are the insurance companies, cut out the middle man and get rid of them!

    March 26, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Mel

    Drummer, I severely doubt the "no death due to cannibus use". I think I could easily die from it due to my allergic reaction. So stop, please. You cannot defend drug use if it is not for medical use. I don't even like cigarettes and alcohol being legal but I can live with it because neither are likely to kill me off in 10 minutes.

    March 26, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Patty

    The questions from the participants are great. I love this administration.

    March 26, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Chad

    I cannot believe that we as the people have been alotted this opportunity to ask the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES anything we wanted and marijuana has been the most talked about subject. And some of us actually wonder why Main St. isn't considered in big governmental decisions....

    March 26, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Brandi

    Mr. President, New York state's Governor wants to bring back institutions to get rid of the waiting list of developmentally disabled people waiting to get into a group home, do you agree with this and if not what can you do to help?

    March 26, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Jenny-Indiana

    My question is the regards to unemployed baby boomers. My father is 54 years old and has been laid-off, basically unemployed for over a year. He has spent most of his savings that was meant for his later years just to survive. He is finding that while age discrimination is illegal, it is very unspoken. Employers don't seem to value years of experience and education as in the past. What does the future hold for these people?

    March 26, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Evans B

    @ steroid point... steroids and HGH are legal for non-athletes. Our bodies, our rights to use any and all available medicines when being fully apprised of the risks.

    March 26, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Mel

    jose, you cannot go from a free market system to a universal health care system overnight, you'd have a riot. Heck, just look at the small changes he's trying to push through and the fit people are having. Though I do agree universal health care is needed. Every other first world country has it, and they pay less percentage of their GDP to it than the US does, with better care. I'd think there's a reason for that and maybe the US should learn from them.

    March 26, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Chad

    Mike in Fairfax,
    No offense meant by my Harvard Law comment, congratulations on your accomplishments. As to your comment on going back and changing your vote, if McCain hadn't run his campaign so far to the right to appease the Republican Party. We would be speaking of President McCain, maybe.

    March 26, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. markpreston

    Hey Mike in Fairfax,

    I can't agree with you more. President Obama stood before the nation the other night and took questions from trained journalists without knowing the content. Why not do the same with these on-line questions?

    I think he should have a journalist ask the questions, much like Anderson Cooper did during the CNN/YouTube presidential debates.

    Let's bring Anderson back!

    March 26, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. markpreston

    Hey everyone,

    It is a wrap.

    I suspect that Patty is part of the 64 percent of Americans who approve of how President Obama is handling his job. On the other hand, Observant represents the 34 percent who disapprove of how the president is handling his job. (The numbers are from the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll I have been citing).

    But how do YOU think he handle today's virtual town hall?

    Was it worth it?

    Should he do it again?

    Let us know.

    My takeaway is that President Obama said nothing that was earth shattering. He has answered all of these questions before. But I have to give him credit for embracing new technology. And even though there were no surprises in the questions - I still love the idea that YOU can ask the president a question.

    Thanks for watching/blogging along with me on - THE HUB for politics.


    March 26, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. jp,michigan

    Once again the President , like a Hollywood celebrity, uses the television networks to sell his plan ,like the Hollywood celebrity, sell their movies. He choose the questions that only serve his needs.

    March 26, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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