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February 24th, 2009
04:20 PM ET

President Obama, Facebook and you

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. Rosie S

    I have been surprised by how many times President and Mrs. Obama have appeared on T.V. in the last month which makes me wonder how much time he spends at his desk in the Oval office. I would have thought that he would have been guiding and directing his new Cabinet in these difficult times. I do believe they both enjoy being on camera and wish President Obama had gone to Hollywood rather than Washington.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  2. Beth L.

    When was the last time you actually smiled when the president walked into the chamber...good vibes!!

    February 24, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  3. Theresa

    I have facebook and I'm watchin the address to congress. Where will I see the facebook questions?

    February 24, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  4. Tracey - Boston

    BTW

    The president's Helicopter is called "Marine One"

    February 24, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  5. mike

    the entrance of all these politicians is an embarrassing display of self-gratification when so much financial heartache is being felt around the US and world. Now we wait to hear the rhetoric.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  6. Mae Wertz

    Hi Anderson:
    Everyone of us need to be positive and trusting in higher powers to see us through. it will take time if only President Obama is positive. It takes unity. If the elected representatives of the American people want to cheer for their individual party, they need to go back to college. The white house is not a basketball field. Tear down the net and become one team. The world is watching us. We need to set an example as to how different parties can come together to lift up all American.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  7. Jessica

    Hello Anderson,

    I am watching as I am typing and I think the ovations for Mrs. Obama was a showing sign of the excitement that will soon preceed. I am curious to see how President Obama's speech will effect the markets tomorrow, I hope you will address this on AC360 tonight.

    Yay for President Obama!

    Jessica

    February 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  8. serge ruzeck

    He is by far the real hope I know he will fix what bush messed up.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  9. Lisa L

    Why are there 5million on unemployment and 7 million illegal aliens
    working in this country? Sounds like a job surplus to me.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  10. Maryanne

    Could we help to "bail out" the many Americans and veterans who are homeless, jobless and simply in need right now? As important as it is to bail out the banks and auto makers, we have poor and middle class people in this country who are losing or have lost their homes, savings, etc. I hope President Obama will help these people before things get worse for them. Something needs to be done now.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  11. Mina, Reston VA

    It is an interesting choice to have Gov't Jindal be the new "face" of the Republican party ... as a minority, I cannot understand how a minority could be a Republican!

    I really hope Gov. Jindal has something good to say, not just to counter for the sake of countering.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  12. EJ (USA)

    There's something about Facebook that scares me. I can't get into the facebook, myspace, twitter thing.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm |
  13. Ken Silvestri

    "Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit"
    Mr. Hill said this many years ago-it is still true. As a self-employed American (Realtor), I have to start EVERY DAY at zero and make something happen. We must all look at this adversity as a new opportunity to create some sort of change or benefit. Anyone can start a business, no one can stop a person with determination. Were Americans, let's get tough on ourselves and resolve to take responibility for our lives.
    You can make a difference, anyone can change their world a little bit with a "no one can stop me attitude"

    February 24, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  14. T.G.

    Please help me understand. Mr. Jendal seems to be an "extremist" of the republican party regarding the "stimulus" program, (which I believe to be a poor definition, or label of investment in our country) is being shown to be the face of republicans. It only seems to me, to be a disservice to the majority, and as a clarification if "political interests" as the ranking interest in the hierarchy of the important issues at this seemingly desperate times.

    February 24, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  15. dave

    We have many stores closing in malls. Some communities are reinventing
    their neighborhoods into places where the malls are recreated into multi use malls. Some malls may have charter schools, doctor's offices, stores, apartments, etc. Perhaps we could reinvent some crumbling schools into small stores, 21st century classrooms and retirement apartments. With creative planning, the schools could raise money selling some of these newly developed school villages. At the same time, these 21st century classrooms could be used not only in the day time for students. They could be utilized in the evening for recently laid off workers and others living in the neighborhood to be retrained for new jobs of the 21st century.

    February 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  16. Cheryl Cap

    Why doesn't the Government let Americans take $10,000 from their 401K plans with no taxes and no penalties? If we have the money saved, we are the responsible Americans. Isn't it time to reward us? It would help a lot for those of us who are facing a 20% cut in salary for God knows how long. I don't want to fall behind in payments. None of this is my fault. We've been responsible borrowers. Why should I now fail when I've done nothing wrong?

    February 24, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  17. Lucious White

    Hey Anderson love your show, we all know which station is fair and balanced. My question is why is everyone expecting him to say something to fix everything so fast? We all know things are bad right now and its going to take time, contrary to popular belief Barack is not the Messiah. My other question is does it seem like the republicans are all ready starting their campaign for 2012 by not supporting him for anything?

    February 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  18. Luis

    Our founding father's would be ashamed of the what has become of the United States. Obama is going to raise taxes on small business, just like the crown raised taxes on it's citizens back in the day when people had brains.

    What did they do. Flee to the Americas and fought for our Independence against the British crown

    February 24, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  19. Bob in Dallas

    Hello Anderson,

    I would like for Barack to acknowledge the baby boomers that have just retired. Many of us saw most of our savings evaporate this year.

    We very concerned about our futures. We never thought we would have to go back an try to earn at the levels that will be required to survive without a savings nest egg.

    February 24, 2009 at 8:49 pm |
  20. Susan Heller

    Someone should talk about the outrageous interest rates all the credit cards(most banks) companies have been increased over the past few weeks. I look forward to hearing what our President says tonight. I'm behind him 100 %,

    February 24, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  21. Charles Harlan

    Anderson, Enjoy watching your show. I would like know why we can not but politics aside and do what is right for the american people. I am just so tired of all fighting over politics and what party is right and what party is wrong. It is time to come together and put the petty politics behide us and do what is right. Its time for congress and the Senate to get behind the leader of our country and for once do what is right. They should remember that there is election coming up!

    Thank you

    February 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  22. Bianetth "Bee" Valdez

    Due to the fact that we are facing a major economic crisis, what are you willing to do for the people that owe small, prvately owned businesses that are going out of business? Are you willing to set a financial, help plan?

    February 24, 2009 at 8:39 pm |
  23. Bianetth "Bee" Valdez

    1. Due to the fact that we are facing a major economic crisis, what are you willing to do for the people with small, privately owned businesses that are going out of business ? Are you willing to set up a financial, help plan?

    February 24, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  24. Therese, Washington DC

    This is such a wonderful and a great idea Anderson, I look forward to the questions.

    February 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  25. Bianetth "Bee" Valdez

    1. Along the line looking four to five years down, what kind of state do you think our economy is going to be in and how the passing of the stimulus bill will affect our current and future economy?

    2. Do you think with the current economic crisis, that current and future college students, will be affected in how much financial aid they recieve? And will it determine who or who doesn't receive that financial aid?

    February 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  26. Lori from IL

    @BettyAnn – glad to see you back on the blog. Hope your surgery went well.

    Can someone explain to me how this Facebook thing works - never used it before, but would like to join in tonight?!

    February 24, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  27. Kevin McGuirk (Danville, CA)

    One could argue that one of the reasons our economy is in such a mess is that our electorate is ill informed. For too long, we've allowed our leaders to pursue short-sighted policies that substituted anti-tax populism for long-term budget wisdom, as just one example of many. Invective, jingoism and cynical sophistry have replaced honest debate in public discourse, and for the most part we, with a complicit media, have done little that is meaningful to counter this.

    How do we overhaul our education system sufficiently to increase the level of education and intelligence nationally such that the demands and expectations of the electorate are sufficient to hold politicians accountable to wise policy and competent execution?

    February 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  28. Dee

    My concern and comment is this...isn't the media just putting a little too much emphasis on the negative here, not to mention the conservative Republican folks. My goodness people, President Obama has been in office for just over a month and has acted more quickly than most Presidents have on the issues. Given the mess he took on, should we back off on the criticism and wait and see before we start losing confidence and badmouthing decisions that have not even fully been inacted yet. I say shame on the media for instilling even more fear then we already have at this difficult time for our country and when so many people have put hope in our new President. Thank you

    February 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  29. JR Miami, FL

    After record spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how much longer will this expense be part of the annual budget? Please bring our troops home.

    February 24, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  30. Karl Brown

    We are going to have to wait and see.
    What concerns me there are a lot of federal grants scams on the Wed tricking people to give up there credit card information with the promise of thousands of dollars and their have news media logos on these sites can you look into these sites before some people lose their money.

    February 24, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  31. polly

    If anyone follows politics at all for any reason other that to find out what more money the government is going to give them..they would understand that Bush is not the root of the problem. It stems back to Clinton. Obama has already spent about 1/2 of what our national deficit is. He also plan to double our current deficit. He now trys to make it look better by saying he is going to cut the deficit in half. Obama is well on his way to to destroying our economy. He does not hold true to his promises and America is in store for a lot more than those who voted for him know. I will watch the address, but nothing any of us say on here is going to make a difference because Obama believes that Americans don't care.

    February 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  32. Lilibeth

    P.S. to Rhonda, I echo your sentiments. I am also getting very tired of the negativity. I find myself tuning out, angry, and frustrated sometimes (sorry CNN).

    P.S. to Anderson, would it be possible (please) to not have analysts (on both sides) when reporting on Pres. Obama's speeches? (Or anything else for that matter). If you have analysts lined up tonight, fine, but maybe sometime, at least for one night, just report on the speech or whatever itself...that's it. How about trying it sometime? You've always said we can make up our own minds. Well, we can do that without them. Just a suggestion. Thanks.

    Lilibeth
    Edmonds, Washington

    February 24, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  33. xtina, chicago IL

    Please ask Obama-

    We all want to reduce debt, yet you passed the biggest spending bill in history. Shouldn't we be reducing government spending, not taxing the American people?

    How is that Mexico- supposedly a poorer, lesser country than ours – has impenetrable borders?

    Most agencies run by the government are inefficient. Which federal departments will your admin. eliminate?

    Where does Islamic terrorism rank in your list of this country's problems?

    It takes one-third of what Americans earn to run this country. Do you believe that figure is too high or too low?

    February 24, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  34. Michael English

    President Obama could reduce the deficit and review the current immigration policy at the same time.
    If all the illegal aliens who want to stay hear permanently paid a fine and back taxes, just think 13 million people @ $1k or $2k..............

    February 24, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  35. Carol B.

    Hi Anderson. How very McLuhan. Hope the Facebook experiment works. It's always a good thing to offer viewers something different from time to time and keep the show vital and interesting. It will also be interesting to hear how the President will segue and substantiate all he has to cover this evening.

    February 24, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  36. Jay

    If the administration truly does not know if the stimulus will work, how do they truly know we will have a catastrophe if we don't do it?

    The banks got piggish and made money on 125% refi's telling consumers to "cash out and go on vacation". "Get approved in 5 minutes!!" Now we're going to bail them out pay for it? I say let the banks fall and force them to reinvent banking. I for one do not want to prop up the banks – I say take the hit and deal with it. This is like putting a band aid on a tumor.

    I also think there is too much emphasis on the stock market. The market is irrelevant right now, and if the administration understands that this is not about making the "market happy" I am somewhat encouraged.

    PS. Anderson, I was to meet you the day Francesco Scavullo passed away, it was a rotten day and I think we spoke but was sorry I didn't have a chance to meet you.

    February 24, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  37. Mel Freer

    If you could use your 401(k) to pay down debt would you? And, if the penalties could be reduced or eliminated if used for this purpose would you want to?

    February 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  38. Arielle Haze

    Anderson, great idea!

    I'd like to know how this plan will affect (and help) people like me:

    I rent, and can't afford to move. My landlord is not lowering my monthly rent rate.

    I am unemployed and almost out of unemployment insurance (since last April).

    My jobs are going to Directors willing to take less pay, or have become temporarily obsolete (team supervisor / project manager for retail product design development).

    I am single, my family is poor, and I used to make over $60k gross. My bills come out to about $45K (net). I used to be doing well. Now, I can't pay my basic bills (rent, car, cats (kids) food/health, prescriptions, electric, food, and credit card debt (taken out to start a home business that's slow right now).

    How can he help me? I don't want to end up living in my car with my cats (kids)!

    February 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  39. Luis

    You idiots on this board. Socila Security is a ponzi Scheme.

    I tried to warn you fools but CNN keeps banning me on some days and not others. If you cant retire, dont blame me. Blame the Media like cnn for not reporting it.

    The government owes $56 Trillion dollars to the American people.

    Source: Comptroller General of The U.S.

    February 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  40. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    Anderson, I think this is great. I'll be there for sure.

    February 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  41. Megan - Cohutta, GA

    Mr. Cooper and CNN,

    So how will the defense budget be cut without compromising the efforts of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, or will budget cuts make the efforts there more efficient? Also what exactly is the timetable for evacuation,and what steps are being done to help create a stable environment in Iraq and Afghanistan after American forces leave?

    What measures are being put in place to save Social Security and Medicare? I will not be eligible for these programs for another 45 years, but will there be anything left of these programs when I am old and gray?

    Was candidate Obama's promise of giving $4000 to college students in exchange for community service just a campaign promise? Is there anything in the current or upcoming stimulus package that will benefit current college students? Or is higher education just considered "wasteful spending?"

    See you on Facebook

    February 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  42. Michael Trently

    First, Anderson let me say that you are doing an excellent job. You do not simply report the news but appear to be truly involved in it. It seems as though you enjoy it as well.

    I think this is a great idea; you have the potential for a huge audience and many opinions and questions. My first question: how do I get involved on my Facebook page. I want to participate tonight.

    For President Obama, I would like to know about alternative fuels. How do we get the fuels at every corner station? How do we get manufacturers to build vehicles that run on these fuels? What kind of incentive do we give the fuel producers to build more plants?

    February 24, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  43. Cindy

    Anderson,
    HMM..I would like to know if Obama's speech quelled any of their fears or did it make them worse?

    What would be one thing that you'd ask Obama to do that you think would help the economy?

    Cindy..Ga.

    February 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  44. Christina Glendale, AZ

    What's the plan for cutting our deficit in half? Is that even possible and how will taxes be affected to achieve this?

    February 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  45. Darrin Jones nyc

    Questions about healthcare plans?

    February 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  46. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Hey Anderson,

    Are you going to be posting questions to Gov. Jindal's response as well. I doubt he sugar coats anything from the excerpts I just read in an email for his supporters. I am so excited he is doing this tonight. Hey, I'm entitled to my own version of the Kool-Aid, too 🙂

    I don't really play well on Facebook except to keep up with close family and friends. I still am not sure I like that many people having that much access to me at any point on such a personal level. So, needles to say, I won't be participating in this. Do look forward to the discussions on TV, though. Please, no yelling among the guests. If I want that, I can watch that other network.

    And as for questions-well, as soon as I figure out what is going to happen with this stimulus, then I might. For now, it's all too early, and I think there's too much speculation and not enough reality to ask anything valid at this point. Just my take.

    February 24, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  47. Richard Hulser

    Considering the Republicans were at major fault for the current economic situation, though the Democrats didn't do much to challenge them – nor did the media! – how does the president and his team think they can overcome the objections of people who haven't a leg to stand on with their objections to his economic and other plans? Does the president realize the American people see right through the Republican objections?
    Separately, what is the media doing to give a fair and proper perspective on this, given that the focus has not been on what the stimulus plan etc. CAN DO for the country, but rather the media extended interest in the lack of bipartisanship votes?!

    February 24, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  48. sally davis

    I will be watching! You do a great job. I don't have a specific question,but will watch and listen carefully for some answers!!

    February 24, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  49. Loretta Colberg

    Anderson,
    I just hope what he says will work. I hope that he will try to promote change as promised. I'm scared for the future of my children. We need a bail out now.

    February 24, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  50. vanessa, TX

    hey anderson, good idea you guys got going on...first a debate on youtube, now facebook...i already rsvp'd
    my question is
    will the poverty level or criteria be lowered now that alot of people have lost there jobs? i know each state has their own poverty level but it might make people qualify for benefits such as foodstamps and medicaid easier for a short while at least

    February 24, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
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