Obama Takes His State of the Union Message on the Road and Online

BY Simone Pathe  February 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM EST


President Barack Obama is participating in a live “Fireside Hangout” Thursday via Google Plus from the White House’s Roosevelt Room, where he will answer participants’ questions about the policies he laid out in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. The questions he’ll address were submitted via video and text message. Watch a live stream of the event at 4:50 p.m. ET Thursday in the player above.

Today’s Fireside Hangout, affectionately named for Franklin Roosevelt’s signature “fireside chats,” is only the latest in a series of Google hangouts for the White House. Last month, Vice President Joe Biden took Americans’ questions about gun violence in a hangout moderated by PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan.

The White House held its first Fireside Hangout just over a year ago, following Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address. Live video chatting exemplifies the importance the Obama administration has invested in interacting directly with Americans through social media and technology.

Since his re-election, and in the days since his Tuesday night address to the nation, Obama has taken his policy messages on the road — and now online. Wednesday, he visited a factory in Asheville, N.C., to show his support for the manufacturing investment he pushed Tuesday night, and Thursday morning, he visited a school in Decatur, Ga., to elaborate on the commitment he made to expanding pre-kindergarten education for low-income students. Friday, the president will head to Chicago to build on yet another State of the Union theme: reducing gun violence.

While Obama takes the temperature of the state of the union and speaks to Americans online and across the country, the PBS NewsHour has followed up with some of our favorite stories from 2012 to ask, What is your state of the union? Users are invited to submit their own comments to the project.

Watch the president’s full State of the Union speech here.