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Obama Hits Reddit, Talks White House Beer Recipe, Crashes Servers

With Republicans dominating political news coverage from their national convention in Florida, President Obama took to the popular social news site Reddit Wednesday afternoon for a surprise Q-and-A with users.

The wide-ranging discussion touched on issues from Internet freedom to space travel to the most difficult decision of his presidency (which Obama said was sending more troops to Afghanistan).

Obama also weighed in on a question about the "corrupting influence of money in politics," and said this about the 2010 Supreme Court decision that has helped open the political arena to more money: "I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it)."

And asked to disclose the recipe for the White House's Honey Ale home brewed beer, he promised: "It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty."

BuzzFeed has posted a list of all the questions and answers.

But the mere fact that Obama was actually on Reddit answering questions seemed to generate much of the discussion. (It also crashed the site's servers, according to CNET.)

The president's original message: "Hi, I'm Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything. I'll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at about 4:30 ET."

Wrote one user: "For proof, did he send you a picture of him holding a dated index card? Or did the Secret Service land a helicopter on your house?"

Wrote another: "He faxed a copy of his birth certificate."

One user declared : "ONE OF US. ONE OF US."

Which prompted this: "Not really, let's be real here. Although it's funny to imagine President Obama sitting in the oval office giggling and looking at photos of cats."

Obama actually was in Charlottesville, Va., where he was campaigning (in person.)

As Elise Hu blogged for NPR last month, the crowd-sourcing online Reddit community gained attention recently as a first source of information on the Colorado movie-theater shooting.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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