Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Redditors Ask Joe Manchin, Well, Anything

Sen. Joe Manchin will release a video response on Friday to questions submitted to a thread on Reddit over Monday and Tuesday.

The West Virginia Democrat will spend a fair amount of his screen time addressing the Mountain State’s long ties to the coal industry, a popular theme in the user-submitted comments. Manchin will divvy up the rest of his time talking about gay rights, voter identification requirements, gun control and more.

Redditors Ask Joe Manchin, Well, Anything

Manchin will respond to the Reddit AMAs on Friday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Many public figures, including President Barack Obama and Sen. Cory Booker, have hopped on Reddit to participate in an “Ask Me Anything,” or AMA, where users often pose thousands of questions. Questions rise to the top by being “upvoted” by other users, and the subject can respond to questions at will with a comment.

Manchin’s AMA page states he “will be answering your top ten questions.” While politicians who hold AMAs typically answer many more than just 10 questions, they do choose which questions to answer or to ignore. 

More than 110 comments were submitted in the 24-hour submission period, and the most upvoted comment asked for Manchin’s opinion of gerrymandering and possible reforms. Four of the top 10 questions involve West Virginia’s coal and energy industry.

“Will you pledge to help implement the next generation of renewable energy infrastructure?” the user redtown asked.
Another Redditor, madest, bluntly disapproved of the practice of mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia, which has near-universal support among the state’s political class. “Why have you allowed coal companies to ruin the spectacular views of WVA with mountaintop mining?” madest asked.According to the AMA’s description, it’s “part of an experimental video series called Ask Washington Anything produced by reddit and The Atlantic.” Both Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Sam Kass, senior White House adviser on nutritional policy, will be releasing similar AMA response videos on Friday.

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