The President held a townhall meeting on healthcare reform in Virginia yesterday, one feature of which was outreach to the online community.  It was supposed to be all about including everybody in the debate.  How did that work out?  From the Washington Times:

Despite the much-touted outreach, the president in the end took only seven questions during the hour-long session – three coming via video, three from the audience and one coming from a Twitter user.

White House staff pre-selected the questions that the president was asked by video and Twitter. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who moderated the forum, insisted that the president had not seen the questions in advance.

The three questions that came from the audience were all asked by people who worked or volunteered for liberal groups closely aligned with the White House.

What tough questions was the President asked?

Jason Rosenbaum, a member of Healthcare for America Now, an interest group pushing Mr. Obama’s reform ideas, asked Mr. Obama to talk about his plans for making health care affordable.

Another audience questioner was a woman from the Service Employees International Union, who asked Mr. Obama what she could do to help his health care reforms be passed into law.

And the third audience member to ask a question was Debby Smith, 53, of Appalachia, Va., a volunteer for Organizing for America, an organization that grew out of Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign to raise grass-roots support for his policies.

Mrs. Smith started to cry as she described her inability to find health insurance for her kidney cancer. Mr. Obama walked off the stage to stand a few feet away as she asked her question, and then invited her out of the audience after she had finished talking so he could give her a hug.

“We’ll get your information and we’ll see what we can do to help you,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t want you to feel all like you’re alone out there.”

Good grief.

I Tweeted a question.  It was, “How will results of government healthcare in US be any different than in other countries?”  I guarantee it wasn’t my Twitter question that was answered.

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