The video: Yesterday afternoon, at a town hall discussion sponsored by and aired live on MTV, BET, and CMT, President Obama took questions from young voters on topics ranging from the Sudan to race relations. (See clip below.) A youthful Howard University professor (who said she voted for Obama based on his "alleged" commitment to equality) asked why he isn't acting faster to repeal "Don't ask, don't tell." The president responded by saying "this policy will end, and it will end on my watch, but I do have an obligation to make sure that I'm following some of the rules. I can't simply ignore laws that are out there. I've got to work to make sure that they are changed."
The reaction: "There is a certain irony in Obama coming out so strongly against DADT," says Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite, when he's trying to slow the process of dismantling it. Still, he came off well, says Regina Avalos at Gather. Last night may have won him a "few more points back" from supporters who've lost the faith. Regardless, says Chris Richard in The Washington Post, it wasn't as effective as the "mini cultural moment" Bill Clinton achieved answering "boxers or briefs" questions at his own 1994 MTV town hall. Still, in our digitally splintered culture, there's no single MTV generation to rally, and such moments "are harder to come by." Watch Obama in action:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to make the ultimate grilled cheese
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- George W. Bush 'ran the country like a cable network,' and other political insights from Chris Rock
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
- How I lost all my money
Subscribe to the Week