Barack Obama spins daily rhetoric about helping the job market recover from the recession, but now he's come up with a rather more practical approach to helping one woman's husband get work.
The President last night asked a video chat questioner to send him her husband's CV, insisting he wanted to find out why the man has been out of work despite his skills as a semiconductor engineer.
He told Jennifer Wedel of Fort Worth, Texas, that what he was hearing from industry suggested such high-tech fields are in great demand and her husband ‘should be able to find something right away’.
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Help: President Barack Obama asked a video chat questioner to send him her husband's CV, insisting he wanted to find out why the man has been out of work despite his skills as a semiconductor engineer
‘I meant what I said, if you send me your husband's resume, I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there,’ President Obama told Mrs Wedel on a Google Plus live video chat.
But Mrs Wedel told President Obama that despite what he said, her husband had been out of work for three years. She wanted to know why foreign workers were getting visas for high-skilled work.
The exchange came as President Obama appeared in a live video chat room known as a ‘Hangout’, part of online search giant Google's social networking site Google Plus.
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He was answering questions submitted via YouTube, as well as interacting live with Mrs Wedel and four others. The post-State of the Union session was part of the White House focus on social media.
In past such events - with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube sessions following previous State of the Union addresses - President Obama answered questions submitted via online networks.
But Monday's event allowed him to interact with a selection of his questioners, leading to more substantive exchanges as they pushed him on his stances.
Query: He told Jennifer Wedel of Fort Worth, Texas, pictured, that what he was hearing from industry suggested high-tech fields are in great demand and her husband 'should be able to find something right away'
Mrs Wedel's insistence that the President's claims about the demand for high-skilled workers weren't being born out for her husband led to the offer to take a look at his resume.
‘I'll have to take you up on that,’ she told him. And President Obama came back to it after covering a range of issues in the 45-minute session, telling her: ‘Remember to send me that information!’
'I meant what I said, if you send me your husband's resume, I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there'
President Barack Obama on resumes
President Obama got a variety of questions on the economy and his policies on innovation and small businesses. An unemployed Occupy protester sent a video asking him: ‘I need help. I'm 53. What am I going to do?’
‘The most important thing I can do for folks who are out of work right now is grow the economy,’ President Obama responded in part. He also said unmanned drone strikes were being used justly.
‘I think that there's a perception somehow that we're just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly,’ he said. ‘This is a targeted, focussed effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists.’
He was also asked about online piracy. Congress recently delayed action on legislation cracking down on online piracy after opposition from internet companies including Google.
Contenders: The exchanges came a day ahead of the key Republican primary in Florida today, as GOP presidential hopefuls - especially Mitt Romney, left and Newt Gingrich, right - attack President Obama daily
President Obama said he thought it was possible to protect intellectual property that creates jobs in the U.S., while still respecting the integrity of the internet as an open system.
The exchanges came a day ahead of the key Republican primary in Florida today, as GOP presidential hopefuls - especially Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich - attack President Obama daily.
'The most important thing I can do for folks who are out of work right now is grow the economy'
President Barack Obama on jobs
But none of the questions put to him were about the presidential race. They were about the State of the Union and people's lives now.
There were also light moments, as Mrs Wedel asked President Obama if he would show off his dance moves. He refused and said his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, mocks his dancing.
Another questioner asked how they plan to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in autumn. But as it's shortly before the election, President Obama said he wasn't sure how romantic it would be.
More than 133,000 questions were submitted and voted on by YouTube users. Google officials selected the questions to ask based in part on those results. Some 1,630,870 votes were cast.
Although many of the questions that appeared online were about Obama's stance on legalising marijuana - something he has said he opposes when asked in the past - that did not come up.
Interest: The number one voted question was about the potential extradition to the U.S. of Richard O'Dwyer, a young British student accused of breaking copyright laws. He is pictured with his mother Julia this month
Organisers said the number one voted question was about the potential extradition to the U.S. of Richard O'Dwyer, a young British student accused of breaking online copyright laws.
The 23-year-old is accused of creating a website from his university bedroom in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, which listed sites where films could be downloaded in infringement of copyright.
'I think that there's a perception somehow that we're just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly. This is a targeted, focussed effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists'
President Barack Obama on drones
His lawyers say this in itself is not an offence under British law but earlier this month a court cleared him for extradition to the U.S., where he could face ten years in a high-security prison.
President Obama said he wasn't personally involved in the case but the administration wanted to ensure that intellectual property is protected ‘in a way that's consistent with Internet freedom’.
The student’s mother Julia O’Dwyer said the U.S. has ‘excessive use of the extradition laws between our countries’ and the ‘UK government’s passive acceptance’ of this is ‘shameful’.
‘It’s up to Mr Obama to put a stop to the ridiculous and appallingly harsh attempts to extradite Richard and others facing similarly unnecessary treatment,’ Ms O’Dwyer added.
The O’Dwyer case has chilling similarities to that of Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon, who hacked into Pentagon computers from his North London bedroom while searching for evidence of aliens.
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