Obama Works To Save Jobs, 1 At A Time

Obama hangout Google+ new jobsBy Erica Werner

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is trying to rebuild the American economy, one job at a time - literally.

The president asked an online town hall questioner Monday to send him her husband's resume, insisting he wanted to look into why the man remained out of work despite his background as a semiconductor engineer.

"I meant what I said, if you send me your husband's resume, I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there," Obama told the questioner, Jennifer Wedel of Fort Worth, Texas.

He told Wedel that according to what he was hearing from industry, such high-tech fields are in great demand and her husband "should be able to find something right away."

Wedel told Obama that despite what he said, her husband had been out of work for three years. She wanted to know why foreign workers were getting visas for high-skilled work.

The exchange came as Obama appeared in a live video chat room known as a "Hangout," part of online search giant Google's social networking site Google Plus. He was answering questions submitted via the Google Inc.-owned video site YouTube, as well as interacting live with Wedel and four others in the Hangout.

The post-State of the Union session was part of the White House focus on social media. In past such events - with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and earlier YouTube sessions following previous State of the Union addresses - Obama answered questions that had been submitted via online networks. But Monday's event allowed him to interact with a selection of his questioners, leading to more substantive exchanges as they pushed him on his stances.

Wedel's insistence that the president's claims about the demand for high-skilled workers weren't being born out for her husband led to the president's offer to take a look at his resume.

"I'll have to take you up on that," she told him. And Obama came back to it after covering a range of issues in the 45-minute session, telling Wedel, "Remember to send me that information!"

Obama got a variety of questions on the economy, and defended his policies on small businesses and innovation. An Occupy protester sent in a video saying she was out of work and asking Obama: "I need help. I'm 53. What am I going to do?"

The president's response, in part: "The most important thing I can do for folks who are out of work right now is grow the economy."

Obama was also asked to justify his administration's use of unmanned drone strikes, and contended they were being used judiciously. "I think that there's a perception somehow that we're just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly," Obama said. "This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists who are trying to go in and harm Americans."

And he was asked about online piracy. Congress recently delayed action on legislation cracking down on online piracy after opposition from Internet companies including Google.

Obama said he thought it was possible to protect intellectual property that creates jobs in the U.S., while still respecting the integrity of the Internet as an open system.

The exchanges came a day ahead of the Republican primary in Florida, as GOP presidential hopefuls attack Obama daily. But none of the questions put to him were about the presidential race. They were about the State of the Union and people's lives now.

There were also light moments, as Wedel asked Obama if he would show off his dance moves (the president refused, saying the first lady mocks his dancing) and another questioner asked the president how he and Michelle Obama planned to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary this fall (since it's shortly before the election, Obama said he wasn't sure how romantic it would be).

More than 133,000 questions were submitted and voted on by YouTube users. Google officials selected the questions to ask based in part on those results.

Although many of the questions that appeared online were about Obama's stance on legalizing marijuana - something he has said he opposes when asked in the past - that did not come up Monday. Organizers said the No. 1 voted question was about the potential extradition to the U.S. of Richard O'Dwyer, a British student accused of setting up a website that gave people access to films and TV shows for free in violation of copyright laws.

Obama said he wasn't personally involved in the case but the administration wanted to ensure that intellectual property is protected "in a way that's consistent with Internet freedom."

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Where were all you idiots when Bush and Cheney were running this country into the ground?? giving your tax dollars to Cheney's company, Haliburton?? I'm guessing sitting on the sidelines, saying Duh!!!!

February 01 2012 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The headline is perfect. One at a time is the rate he's going. Too bad he was so good at destroying jobs.

January 31 2012 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is all nice, what happened when I was out of work for five weeks and I am a liscensed journeyman electrician with thirty plus years experience, with an electronic tech degree also and a FCC lisc. I am 62 years of age and I am also a registered singer/songwriter with BMI in blues genre. I did not see the President helping me out at all.

January 31 2012 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The woman gave the answer to the question herself. She said her husband is an engineer specializing in semiconductor chips. Just hours before hearing her question on the news, I'd read about a weekly gathering in for unemployed Silicon Valley hi-tech workers (the unemployment rate in Silicon Valley is over 8%), which is hosted by the city of Sunnyvale. Over 3000 unemployed workers belong to this group. Headhunters try to match highly edcuated workers to companies.

Unfortunately, most of these workers do not find employment because they are older and have been out of work for some time. The Hi-Tech fields have passed them by. Even if they have updated their educations, they are still viewed as behind the times, even if it is not true.

The semiconductor field took a huge hit in the recession. A lot of manufacturing had already gone overseas. It's been sadi that Pres. Obama spoke to Steve Jobs about bringing some of Apple's manufacturing back to the US. Mr. Jobs said, flat out, "Not going to happen." I recently heard an interview given by the head of a major hi-tech company. He said that his R&D guys want to live at home... and their home is Singapore. His company, tho' it began as US, has labs worldwide, manufactures worldwide, sells worldwide... and the US is actually not even a quarter of his market any more.

This woman's husband's predicament is going to become the rule. Hi-tech is advancing so quickly that by the time people are educated and work for a few years, their specialty will have either advanced beyond their ability to keep up while employed on specific projects, or their specialty will become obsolete in the blink of an eye. People's careers will last 10 years max, then the younger generation will replace them, only to be replaced themselves in about 10 years.iIt will be a case of needing complete retraining every decade.... but who will pay for that? How will they have an income while retraining? How will people have the stability to have families and homes when they are going to be w/o jobs on a regular, cyclical basis?

January 31 2012 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C and R Ventures

Maybe EVERYONE that has lost their job in the last 3 years, that is still looking (around 2 million) should forward their resume to Obama? Great job Obama we should have made you the Recruiter in Cheif instead of President then maybe not so many would be OUT OF WORK.

January 31 2012 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron Beicht

Please the only job he is trying to save is his by talking a lot of crap out both sides of his mouth

January 31 2012 at 8:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Obama has lowered his sites from creating 5,000,000 Green jobs to creating 1 job

January 31 2012 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sure there is work available, all he has to do is sell his house (which he can't because its under water), pack up his family and move clear across the country,leaving behind there family and friends, his wifes job too, for a job that pays half as much, than the job he once had with no benefits (except for all self pay) all of this in an area where the minimum housing costs are a million and up. Thanks Mr. President your doing a wonderful job.

January 31 2012 at 8:34 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I hope this guy is not gullible enought to believe the meerchant of bulls... Obama that is .. I believe we had more than enough of his Hope and Change Crappola ...

January 31 2012 at 8:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Judging by his performance in job creation this must be his master plan.... one job at a time.

January 31 2012 at 8:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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