If you watched President Obama's Google+ hangout Monday night, you saw two interesting exchanges between the president and Jennifer Wedel, a 29-year-old Texas mother of two.
It turns out that Wedel's digital meeting convinced her to vote for Obama in this year's presidential election -- despite her support for the GOP.
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During Monday night's Google+ hangout, Wedel, whose husband is an unemployed semiconductor engineer, grilled Obama about his less-than-satisfactory response to her question about visas for foreign workers. Later in the evening, she challenged the president's response to a California high school student asking about college education.
Obama promised to take a look at the resume of Wedel's husband, suggesting that someone with his skills shouldn't be having trouble finding work.
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"I meant what I said," said the president during the hangout. "If you send me your husband's resume, I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there, because the word that we're getting is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away."
Afterwards, Wedel, who described herself as a "good Republican," is now planning to vote for Obama in this year's presidential election.
"I didn't vote for him four years ago. But I have been so disappointed with the presidential race. I haven't seen anybody who would have been a good replacement. I know how Obama is now. I know how he rolls. So I'd probably vote him back in," said Wedel in an interview with The Atlantic. "I (feel) like I know him a little more," Wedel said. "There was a connection. He should definitely do this with more people. I've seen some of what they do with YouTube, but this is way better than that. I hope that what happened today doesn't mean that they back off."
Indeed, it doesn't sound like the White House has any plans to back off from digital engagement.
“President Obama had a great time with yesterday’s first-ever virtual town hall event, which offered the sort of genuine back and forth the White House strives for in all of our online engagement efforts, whether through social media, WhiteHouse.gov’s We the People online petitioning system or otherwise,” White House director of new media Macon Phillips told Mashable.
“Meaningful online engagement isn’t easy, but it’s a highly effective way to tackle the challenges facing our country and discuss the best ways to move forward, including the policies the President laid out in his State of the Union address.”
Wedel said she first submitted her visa question over YouTube, after seeing the red phone icon that advertised the Google+ hangout. Last Friday, she received a call from Google, who later sent two employees to Wedel's home to help set up for the event.
By the time the hangout began, Wedel was all smiles.
"Seeing (the other participant's) smiles, I could feel their energy, even though they weren't in the room. You can't see emotion in text, but there was something different about this. That's when I thought, this is going to be cool."
At the end of the night, Wedel gave her husband's resume to Google.
Do you think the Google+ Hangout was an effective way for the president to reach out to voters? Let us know in the comments below.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
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