February 24th, 2009
04:20 PM ET

President Obama, Facebook and you

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/02/18/facebook.privacy/art.facebook2.gi.jpg]

Anderson Cooper

President Obama, Facebook and you

We're trying something new tonight, and I think you'll like it. We want to see what some of the 175 million Facebook users around the world think about President Obama's speech to a Joint Session of Congress tonight.

So we'll be posting questions on Facebook during the speech, and then we'll share the results in our two-hour edition of AC360 right after the President’s remarks. The questions will refer to specific issues raised during the President’s speech, and your answers will help us take the pulse of how the President did tonite.

We've never done this before, neither has Facebook - no one has. So, for us, this will be an exciting experiment.

What do you think we should ask? Post a comment below and let us know. You can check out the questions later tonite, during the speech on Facebook, and we’ll have the answers for you tonight on AC360 at 10PM ET.

See you then..

soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Karen

    Hey Anderson,

    2 things:

    1. He's young to ask him a question – I always picture myself asking people in their 80's – hearing their stories, the choices they made, the lessons they learned – but I'd share time with him any day.

    2. I'd ask this new young President – what advice would you give to the people of this free country during these problematic times.

    This is a new and exciting thing your doing.

    Thank you.


    February 24, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  2. Jason S.

    Hello AC,
    What a wonderful program! It will be very interesting to see how fellow Americans respond. I'll be watching.
    I'd like to throw an idea out regarding the nationalizing of banks. Why don't we nationalize our education system. It seems to me that we have a national army to protect our security, but we do not have a national education system to protect our future. And if the education system were a national system, it would help keep the banks private. Also, the CNN website does NOT have section dedicated to education but there's one on economy, politics, etc. And we don't have an education reporter either. All of this chaos we are experiencing will be repeated until the education system is the first priority.
    Can you share my idea with the president?
    Thanks and good luck tonight!
    Jason S.
    Bronx, NY

    February 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  3. Erica

    Hi Anderson,
    I am so dissapointed that I won't be able to join in the fun on facebook tonight.
    I am lucky enough to be a member of the middle class who is in a comfortable situation, as I did not live outside of my means. I do not own a home, I am not in debt, and I feel reasonably secure about my job. I do not feel that this stimulus package is serving someone in my situation and would love to hear the feedback from others. I am in my 20s and resent the fact that it is my generation that will bear the burden from the debt.

    Thank you!

    February 24, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  4. Isabel, Brazil


    This is my last question:

    The crisis in the US is increasingly alarming, and there is a current that supports the nationalization of banks.

    What are the positive and negative points of a nationalization of banks?
    What President thinks that? And in what way President thinks nationalization could help the government?


    February 24, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  5. Linda Ruth

    How much do you think news persons have made this worse?

    If laws were broken under Bush to get us into this?

    Do the Republicans have any positive thoughts or only negativity? Why not get temporary legislation to stop the "Bridge to Nowhere" type projects?

    February 24, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  6. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, Wa

    Hellooo Anderson,
    I have facebook right now and Probably I can watch Pres. Obama's speech during facebook to chat, That is great idea!!I I agree with you, I can't wait forward see facebook tonight, I will see you tonight after his speech!

    My 2 questions are, 1) Are we going to save our friends's money without bailout or laidoff from work (compaines)?
    2) Or are they not able to pay insurance and healthcare without jobs?

    February 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  7. Dick Paoliello

    I understand that the stipulations for meeting the homeowner bailout include; a credit score of over 700, that all mortgage payments be current, and the ability to repay or re-assume the original terms of the loan within 5 years. Obviously my reality is not your reality!

    Pardon me, but those stipulations don't define the ANY of the people I see in trouble! Those currently loosing their homes and hopes via bankruptcy or mortgage default already have poor credit, and mortgage payments are in no way current, and as far as knowing things will recover in 5 years, give me a break. Let's be real!

    February 24, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  8. Vera

    After hearing about Obama's promise to lower the deficit by 1/2...i am getting worried that he is promising too much too fast. I think that this serious recession is going to take more time to recover from than the experts think. I feel it is still on it's way down.
    I don't want Obama to get burned by his promises that he may not be able to keep due to the economy not behaving on his timeline.

    BTW – you rock Anderson and I appreciate your unbiased work.

    Vera – Durham, NC

    February 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  9. Isabel, Brazil

    in time:


    I would like to know about the consequences of the banking crisis coincides with a currency crisis.

    February 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  10. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Hi Anderson, I've never checked out Facebook, so I'll leave my comment here. There'll be hundreds of opinions on Facebook about President Obama's speech; just thinking about it makes my head swirl. To what minute detail can we dissect our new president, and is it right? The idea is information overload and overwhelming, big time! How do you deal with reporting all this depressing news? I know I emailed about this twice, but can you bring Jack Gray on for a little lighthearted stuff? You're my favorite news anchor so I continue to watch the show, but it isn't easy!

    February 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  11. Maddy Kellert

    I would like an [honest] estimate of the time frame President Obama has in mind for the success of his stimulus package to be complete.

    thank you

    February 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  12. Lara

    @ Patty – I think you missed the full story. The fleet of helicopters was ordered during the Bush administration. The Obama administration is reviewing the order and it sounds like they are going to cancel the order. The president has always had a helicopter – the fact that there IS one isn't the controversy. The controversy is over the new fleet that Bush ordered.

    February 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  13. Pamina

    Hi Anderson,
    I think you could ask the people, what barometer will you use to determine if the President's economic plan is working? What changes are you looking for?

    February 24, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  14. Judy Stage/Brooklyn MI

    Hi Anderson, I am glad to hear that there is a specific person named to oversee the spending of the stimulus money. The programs are so complicated and vast I wonder if this person can actually do the job. Keep them honest
    I love it when you blow the whistle on these politicians and their spending of tax payer money.
    I live in Michigan and we have the highest unemployment rate in the country so my question for the president or your BPTOT, is this plan, in reality, going to provide the jobs we need to support the so called stimulated economy?
    See you tonight.

    February 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  15. Sharon

    Please remind our President of the many senior citizens who have served in the military, worked hard, payed taxes, raised families and sent kids to college, saved for retirement, paid off mortgages (hopefully), lived within our means and are now faced with tremendous losses in IRA's etc. that we will never be able to recover without high risk investments. We range in age from 55 on up. We worry about our health as we grow older and the future of our children and grandchildren. Many of us have certainly not lived lives of luxury and are not rich,but we have tried to be responsible American citizens doing our part to make this country the best in the world. We represent a large segment of middle class Americans who worked toward retirement only to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under us. Please don't forget about us.

    February 24, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  16. Isabel, Brazil

    I simply love your technological side!
    You are unique! And as always with innovative ideas!

    Already started my facebook. I confess to I don't using much the fault of Jack Gray that initiated me on Twitter.

    The index of U.S. consumer confidence sank in February to the lowest level in history.
    Immediately, what should be done?

    Thank you, and continue so technological!

    February 24, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  17. Jacqueline, NY

    @Renee, good question and serious one, too.
    I think farming and getting back to basics is the way to go in America. In fact, it has always been the way to go, but we got away from it. If I had the bread, I would buy a spread of land in the Bronx and return it back to farmland: Made in the U.S.A., Bred in the Bronx!

    February 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  18. Maria

    Happy evening Anderson,

    Yes, it is exciting experiment and expects a flood of questions.
    Have a great time tonight.


    February 24, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  19. David

    I deleted my facebook account about two months ago. I swore that I would not go back to facebook ever again but I guess that for Anderson and the AC360 Crew, I am going to brake my promise only for today.

    See you tonight and have a good show!!!

    Stony Brook, NY

    February 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  20. Jacqueline, NY

    Hi, Anderson!

    Excellent questions, Pati. I share the same concerns. Furthermore, all throughout the campaign, we've heard so much talk about the fading middle class and plans to help this class of people. Perhaps I am the only one who hasn't heard it, but the question I would liked asked is: What about the poor and the homeless? What palns are there for helping people without a cent to there name? They have no home to save from losing, no bed and no food. Is there no place in this society for these folks?

    Thank you, Anderson!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  21. Annie Kate


    Nice idea – but you might want to post a how to do this for idiots like me – step by step. I have a facebook account but mainly use it with my family so I'm not sure how this would work. I'll try it at least.

    I usually end my day with your show. Lately its been so depressing that its hard to look forward to watching. I'd rather have the worst in the campaigns than this economic gloom and doom – -I know you are just reporting on what is the primary news event right now but it still is depressing. Wish you all would find at least one upbeat story to have on toward the end of the show....

    As for Obama – what are his plans on how to get our nation "greener" and more energy efficient without using oil and coal? California is having a drought that this year that coupled with the low snow packs on the Sierra Nevada which means less fresh water, may combine to mean that the areas of California that grow a lot of the food we eat daily – fruit, vegetables, nuts – will not have enough water to irrigate their fields and we will face a food shortage and rising food prices – right at a time when our people cannot deal as well with rising prices. With climate change this will get worse and may perhaps worsen. Some sort of action is needed on situations like this – what in Obama's agenda will help with problems like this??

    Thanks. See you tonight....

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    February 24, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  22. Michele

    How will this Bailout help people that do not have FreddieMac or FannieMae mortgages?

    What is the U.S. planning on doing to stop the genecide in Darfur?

    February 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  23. Janine from PA.

    Ask the face book people if they are willing to finally be part of taking back our country and getting after our congress people to work for us and not special interests. The working person is the only special interest congress should be interested in. And start spending our hard earned money which we are forced to give as tax wisely.Spend it on the essentials not all these pork projects.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  24. Julie

    Leave it to CNN to use the medium of social networking in such a unique way! Nice job!


    Are you confident in the president's plan and that we will all see a brighter USA by the beginning of next year? Why/why not?

    February 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  25. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi there,
    Like Pati Mc, I deleted my Facebook profile as well. Sounds like a great idea though! Should be fun. Everyone will be watching tonight. I'm also concerned about how the stimulus plan is going to help this economic meltdown. The bubble burst – trying to blow it back up artifically might not be such a good idea. Or at least should be handled very delicately. But, what do I know? We'll certainly see what happens in time. History is in the making – We'll have to hang on tight and ride out this storm...

    February 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  26. patty

    The other day the President was talking about his new helicopter. Why can't he use the helicopter that the last President used? He was kidding with the media about how he has never had a helicopter before, ( I will never own a helicopter!!!) I just don't understand the spending. We are expected to cut back on spending, (have to), why aren't the senators and other politians cutting back also? Are they above it? Please tell me how I am wrong.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  27. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hey, Hey Anderson!
    So we just go to our home facebook or yours? I am so confused in my mental state.
    This should be fun! And just so you know, I'm eating GREEN stuff for you AND me as we speak. Of course I am being forced. 😉
    Thanks for giving Jack a raise. He needs it for Sammy's addictions. I hope he doesn't have to polish your shoes anymore.
    Facebook, myspace, twitter, is fun if u can figure out how it works. I just got used to myspace then I got facebook. I kept commenting back to myself! haha
    I hope I can figure this out.
    C U tonight on facebook!
    Happy Mardi~Gras Anderson!
    XO's and beads to you!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  28. Bruce Rozenhart

    Good move – keep the President engaged with the "new" media. Voice of the people – no middlemen. Keepin' em honest!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  29. CAMMMO.org

    Please ask if President Obama plans massive closings of overseas U.S. military bases. We feel that this is our only chance for a truly new direction and real change for America.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  30. GF, Los Angeles

    I'd like to know why the government chooses to support giving out billions of dollars in aid to illegals here in the U.S. California alone spends over $10 billion each year in social care, medical services and education. Why are we supporting illegals with taxpayer money in the first place? Why has this aid not been cut considering the economic climate we're in now?

    February 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  31. Jim

    Success of the stimulus/recovery plan is not on President Obama's shoulders any longer.
    I say it is on the GOP, media, CEO's, bank presidents, governors, mayors, and anyone that handles the funds that are going to be released.
    If the Republicans, and all other nay sayers, are really concerned about these extremely large dollars that are being released/borrowed they better make sure they are spent with incredible care and attention in order to bring the best results to our economy and for their constituents.
    The wining has got to stop, tell us where, when, and how you are going to utilize these funds, and then we will see in the end result if you had our interests in mind and made the correct choices as the days, weeks, and months progress.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  32. Jeannine Ayres

    The Republicans didn't care one bit when 2 (fraudulent )elections
    thrust Bush into our everyday lives, allowing him total license to
    destroy our economy with huge debt, create a personal war
    for false reasons that killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq as
    well as our soldiers, privatize institutions for their own benefit, reward
    the rich with tax breaks while encouraging banks and Wall street
    to live by a new code of reckless greed and extreme narcissism.

    Now they are punching at the air around Pres. Obama (honestly
    elected by a majority of the people), coming up with the most frivolous protestations of miniscule objections within the budget plan.
    The whole country suffered deeply through 8 years of their greed
    and lack of concern for Americans. What are they afraid of?
    Why is the concept of working across the aisle to solve problems caused by their former leaders so distatesful to them?

    Why can't they be happy with a new intelligent, caring administration,
    who is genuinely trying to solve problems for all of us?

    February 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  33. Hilda

    You got to be kidding! Most of the people in Facebook do not follow politics and watch him as it was an American Idol episode.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  34. Lilibeth

    Do you think the stimulus plan addresses all the things necessary to get the economy back on track? If not, what do you think is missing?

    What changes, if any, have you made in your lifestyle during this time of financial crisis?

    Which aspect of our economic crisis is most urgent…financial (banking) crisis, housing crisis, or unemployment (etc.)? Why and how do you think should we solve it?

    Edmonds, Washington

    February 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  35. Rhonda

    Yes, I will watch with you Anderson. However, I am discouraged with other CNN coverage to date.

    Every time the President speaks and attempts to encourage the nation, CNN has their right wing commentators give their warped opinions. This causes doubt and frustration during this critical time in our history. For this reason, I no longer watch the commentaries. I have decided to form my own opinion with no help from the negative talking heads.

    CNN please remember who won the election. The American people gave a clear message that indicated we were tired of the tactics of the previous administration.

    The people of this country need to work together if we want to pull ourselves out of this mess. Much of the stock market is driven by emotion. CNN and other news organizations need to stop with the doom and gloom. We need words of encouragement.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  36. Adam Farley - Scranton, PA

    Do you think this stimulus package is large enough to help bail the economy out? or will we end up paying trillions in a second package later on.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  37. Diana

    Why bail out banks and not people?! Lots and lots will still be left out under this new bailout...

    February 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  38. gill - north of 49

    Anderson & 360 Crew:

    Kudos for continuing to innovate with media integration & technology – but just some preliminary feedback – I'm a bit confused as to the details of "how" the audience engages during the speech specifically:

    Will f/book be setting up a special group/forum for this venue or will you be leveraging an existing cnn/360/facebook group?

    How soon will specific details re: facebook entry/access points and call-to-action details be available? Just before the speech? and if so, where will they be promoted? (On Cnn.com, AC360 or facebook or all?)

    Just wondering 'cuz many will be accessing from mobile devices/etc. so knowing where and what the specific points of entry will be is extremely helpful.


    February 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  39. Helen, Reading, UK

    Evening Anderson, happy Pancake Day from England! Sounds like a terrific idea, wish we could do something like that over here, but I doubt that Mr Brown would want to see the results! Will look forward to hearing what comes out of tonight's experiment. Have a good show, lots of love to you, Erica, David G, Ali V and not forgetting our main man Jack Gray! Give him his own slot, it might keep him out of your office..

    February 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  40. earle,florida

    Interpretation is 95% of the law,and that also applies to the stimulus budget and those responsible in congress that authored the landmark legislation! Earmarks can be seen as just about anything if your not on the recieving end. In fairness to President Obama with just 30+ days on the job,and never having any managerial skills in his past,I'd say," he's done his best "beholden to the literal form of true Democracy,.. JMHO

    February 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  41. Jennifer

    Please ask how the President plans to mitigate the partisan response to awarding pensions & benefits to the Filipino Veterans of WWII. A long overdue award that has been framed as "pork" and an example of the "distorted values" in Democratic spending. Couldn't that be said of many aspects in the package? Are all "pork?"

    February 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  42. Norma Jean Gonzales

    How are we safe guarding this bailout money? I keep reading about lavish gatherings at the Tax Payers expense! How is this possible with a transparent policy President Obama has requested. Are the banks not being held accountable for the spending of this money? It sure is not coming back into the economy of the general public, nor business'. ACCOUNTABILITY !

    February 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  43. Renee

    Do you feel that you will default on your mortgage in the next 12 months?

    Do you feel you will default on your credit cards in the next 12 months?

    Will you be planting a vegetable garden to provide food for your family in the next 12 months? (I am serious about this one. Lowe's is selling tomatoe plants in Florida for $4.50 each. Just thinking about the futures market on seeds.)

    February 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  44. Sharon L Hill, Deltona, FL

    I still want to know how the stimulus is meant to help me. I didn't qualify for unemployment and am having trouble finding any work because I took care of my elderly mother who died a year ago and am losing our house because Bank of America took advantage of her then got bailed out.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  45. Christina

    how do you propose spending more money and increasing the nations debt will bail anyone out?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  46. Cheryl - Fonthill, Ontario CAN

    Do you think that the media has played a roll in the lack of confidence that many Americans have that an economic recovery is possible?

    President Obama's campaign slogan was "Yes we can" – has the media put a damper on that emotion?

    The constant reporting of failures in the economy only deepens the spirit of the American people – shouldn't the media help boost optimism by also reporting on any postives that may be happening during this difficult time?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  47. Gladys

    I am always for trying new things. I will be watching the speech tonight.

    Ask the question, will Obama's team realistically be able to determine if the money they give to States is used for good of the people?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  48. Teresa

    Let Americans access their 401K without interest or penalty do pay down mortgage debt and college debt. This would allow the hard-working tax payer who has made house payments on time, not lived above his/her means, and planned ahead to use THEIR own money, thereby increasing their purchase power.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  49. Pati Mc

    Hi Anderson,

    Shucks, I deleted my Facebook account a while back. Maybe I will have to reactivate just for tonite. Sounds like an interesting project/experiment. Thanks for the heads up.

    For Obama: I would like to hear more about how the Stimulus Plan will affect individuals; especially unemployed persons who do not own homes.

    Like many on your blog, I did not get myself in over my head, lived within my means, but with no job I am suffering as well. Other than collecting unemployment (which has been extended and will increase) and applying for food stamps, what does the President plan to do to perhaps help me return to school, find a job, and hlep myself?I have never been big on handouts, even if deserved. I prefer to provide for myself. Unfortunately at this point, I have few options.

    Thanks Anderson. Have a good show tonite.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  50. Michelle

    Cool idea. This should really be a lot of fun.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
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