Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Gene Sperling Takes a Page from "The West Wing" With Reddit AMA

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, March 13 2013

A little over a week after Gene Sperling, assistant to the President for economic policy, was in the headlines for supposedly threatening Bob Woodward, he is now opening himself up to questions on Reddit.

While Sperling does not mention the Woodward controversy, he does note that he was a consultant for The West Wing. "Really hoping you all are kinder than the folks at LemonLyman," he writes, referring to a classic third-season episode in which Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman has a bad experience when he inserts himself into a discussion with his fans in an online forum. "As Josh would say, I applaud your interest in government ... so ask me anything."

So far Reddit users seem to be taking that to heart. In 53 minutes, the post has already attracted 176 comments. Some of the questions concern the nuts and bolts of the economy from student debt, to the privatization of social security and a negative income tax program. One questioner asks why the U.S. doesn't follow Australia's example and stop agriculture subsidies, while a user from the Netherlands asks about ways to address income inequality in America.

But at least one questioner asks, "Why do you want to kill Bob Woodward?" and another user asks him why he thinks the Woodward incident got so much attention and how he handles that kind of attention.

Sperling says he will be answering questions between 2 and 3 p.m.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Spoilers

How the GOP hasn't fixed its tech talent gap; the most tech-savvy elected official in America, and the most tech-savvy state-wide candidate; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hot Spots

How Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is making inroads in China; labor protests among Uber drivers spread to more cities; new data about the prevalence of online harassment; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Reminders

Why the RNC hasn't managed to reboot how Republican campaigns use voter data; new ways of using phone banking to get out the vote; how the UK's digital director is still ahead of the e-govt curve; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Patient Zero

Monica Lewinsky emerges with a mission to fight cyber-bullying; Marc Andreessen explains his political philosophy; tech donors to MayDay PAC get pushback from Congressional incumbents; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

More