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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.

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