Obama to Host Google ‘Hangout’

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WASHINGTON (By Alexander Mooney, CNN) — In the latest iteration of the administration’s efforts to connect to supporters via social media, President Barack Obama will take part Monday in a Google+ “Hangout,” a chat room-like feature of Google+ that allows users to connect with each other via video connections.

The White House pledges the president will answer “several of the most popular questions” submitted through YouTube, while some questioners will be invited to participate in a live conversation on Google+.

The latest social media push follows a Twitter town hall the president held over the summer. To the disappointment of some, the president merely answered preselected questions from Twitter users in that forum.

This time, the president’s answers will show up on a video stream hosted by Google+ while participants can comment on his answers in real time.

The White House says the forum is an example of the president’s commitment to “creating a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.”
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*GALLERY BELOW: A collection of President Obama photographs from CNN.

Google maintains the White House has no role in which questions will be selected. Rather, Google team members will choose the questions from among the most top-rated of those submitted and pledged to ensure there is a balance between several different issue categories. Questions will also come in the form of YouTube videos, live video, and text.

The event, taking place in the Roosevelt Room, is schedule to last 45 minutes and will be streamed on the White House’s web site. Reporters and press cameras are not permitted inside.

Obama also held a similar Facebook town hall at the Web giant’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, in the spring, and a YouTube town hall at the White House in February.

At both events, the White House was criticized for ignoring the subject that drew by far the most queries: whether the president supports legalizing marijuana.