Now you can Ask the President
March 20th, 2009


Wish you had been Jay Leno last night — able to ask the President of the United States a question? You can, at a new online forum for citizens launched yesterday. Called Ask the President, the project is a forum for citizens to submit and vote on questions for the President to answer at formal press conferences. is proud to be part of the broad coalition backing the forum, of both traditional and new media, including the nonpartisan Personal Democracy Forum, The Nation magazine and The Washington Times. Here is how it works:

The forum enables national, transparent voting through, a nonpartisan, open-source website that successfully gathered and submitted questions to presidential candidates during the 2008 primary. (Barack Obama, among other candidates, answered one popular question in November 2007, in the Ten Questions project backed by Personal Democracy Forum and the New York Times editorial board).  Visitors can submit questions in writing or on video; vote other people’s questions up or down, with one vote per person; and directly inspect the code behind the portal.

Ask The President will send a credentialed journalist to the next presidential press conference with a list of the most popular questions selected by the public. Backed by the coalition and citizens across the country, the journalist will appeal to the Obama administration to continue fulfilling its promise to provide the most open, interactive government in history by taking the first citizen-generated question at a presidential press conference. This initiative is already engaging Obama administration staff, in the spirit of cooperation and innovation, to build potential support and participation within the administration.

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