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Barack Obama answers questions from Reddit users despite technical issues

President Barack Obama answering questions on Reddit on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama answering questions on Reddit on Wednesday.

Barack Obama surprised the web Wednesday when he suddenly appeared on a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread.

"Hi, I’m Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything," he wrote on the site. Within minutes he had over 1,000 questions and the site was forced to switch over to read-only mode as technicians tweaked the overwhelmed servers.

Once things were relatively back to normal the commander-in-chief began answering questions.

"What was the most difficult decision that you had to make during this term?" reddit user FifthSurprise posed.

"The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan," Obama replied. "Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban's momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead - so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget," the president added, seeming comfortable eschewing capitalization of words - a style often seen on the web and on Reddit in particular.

Speaking of the Internet, a woman going by the name of SharkGirl wrote, "We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?"

"Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too," Obama wrote. "We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although their will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform."

(Read more about this on the DeBord Report blog.)

It's nice to know the Harvard graduate also has issues with their/there. 

A Reddit user named PartyInYourMouth asked the president, "How are you going help small businesses in 2013 and 2014? and what if any bills are you going to impliment for small businesses, in 2013, and 2014?"

"We've really focused on this since I came into office - 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have $250,000 or less in income, make it easier for small business to access financing, and expand their opportunities to export. And we will be implementing the Jobs Act bill that I signed that will make it easier for startups to access crowd-funding and reduce their tax burden at the start-up stage," Obama wrote.

In total the president answered 10 quesitons. Not all of them were intensely serious. 

"Who's your favourite Basketball player?" karlfranks asked.

"Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy," the Chicagoian replied.

"damn right you are," ivanvzm wrote right beneath it.

Ivanvzm, remembering that he was addressing the most powerful man in the world, quickly added, "edit: ...sir."

"What's the recipe for the White House's beer?" silent1mezzo wondered.

"It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty," the beer-drinking president responded.

"What are you going to call it? 'Hop-bama'?" quipped tuckidge.

Despite misspelling a few words and not capitalizing others, the president seemed to have enjoyed himself on Reddit. 

In summarizing the hour he spent fielding questions Obama wrote "..if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!" he coyly said on the site, referencing an Internet-based meme poking fun of one of his expressions.