- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

President Obama took part in an online chat Wednesday, in which he urged people to “ask me anything.”

They did.

Among the questions Mr. Obama chose not to answer in the 30-minute session on Reddit.com:

• “How do we know you’re the president of the United States, and not just some Kenyan dude?”

• “What is the biggest cover-up you are aware of?”

• “Can I have a job, please?”

• “As a former constitutional law professor, can you explain how it is legal to kill an American citizen with a Predator drone without due process?”

• “How does one qualify for a Nobel Peace Prize while increasing military spending?”

• “Toilet paper — facing out, or facing in?”

• “If the United States had no debt, what would you spend money on?”

• “Chad and I were gonna order up a couple of pizzas; want in?”

• “So, how about those secret wars in Yemen and Pakistan, huh?”

Mr. Obama started the session (his campaign provided proof for disbelievers with a link to a photo of him typing on a laptop) with this message:

“I do want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with folks who are dealing with Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf, and to let them know that we are going to be coordinating with state and local officials to make sure that we give families everything they need to recover.”

Asked whether he would consider increasing funds for the space program, Mr. Obama said space exploration is “a big priority.”

His most difficult decision in office?

“The decision to surge our forces in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama wrote. “Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you.”

Asked what is the first thing he’ll do on the day after the election, win or lose, the president replied, “Win or lose, I’ll be thanking everybody who is working so hard — especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.”

Many participants asked the president for the recipe for the beer brewed at the White House. Mr. Obama said of the beer: “It will be out soon! I can tell from firsthand experience, it is tasty.”

And asked whether he would make Internet freedom a plank in the Democratic Party’s platform, the president said yes.

“We will fight hard to make sure that the Internet remains the open forum for everybody,” he said.

The president also answered a question about what he’d do in a second term to limit the “corrupting influence” of money in campaigns, saying he favors a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited funds on advocacy.

“Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it),” Mr. Obama said. “Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”