Obama Rediscovers 2008 Campaign Energy at Facebook

April 20, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall style meeting at Facebook headquarters on April 20 in Palo Alto, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall style meeting at Facebook headquarters on April 20 in Palo Alto, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama arrived on the West Coast on Wednesday to speak at a campaign-style town hall meeting at the headquarters of Facebook Inc. at Palo Alto, Calif.

At the meeting, Obama called the nation’s finances “unsustainable” and said that both Democrats and Republicans need to work together to begin reducing the budget deficit the United States faces in a “balanced way.”

“We face a critical time where we are going to make some decision—how do we bring down the debt in the short term, and how do we bring down the debt in the long term?” Obama said, according to Bloomberg News.

Obama’s speech began a three-day trip that will include another town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, and fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Obama has used social media sites including YouTube to reach out to voters

With more than 500 million users, Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckeberg in 2004, is the world’s largest social network website. This was the first time he has appeared in a live-streaming Facebook video.

Moderated by Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the event had Obama answer questions filed online via Facebook and the White House website and those from an audience of Facebook employees, small business leaders, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Obama said Facebook is an optimal way to ensure that “this isn’t a one-way conversation.”

At 6:15 p.m. PDT, Obama will deliver remarks at a Democratic National Convention event in San Francisco, before he goes to another DNC event at the city’s Nob Hill Masonic Center at 8:30 p.m., according to the White House.

Democrats agree that for Obama to win re-election in 2012, he will have to rally many of the same forces that got him into the White House in 2008. He will need to accumulate a crowd of young, energetic, and hopeful voters, as well as reasonable support from independent voters.