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Yesterday, the Internet Association teamed up with Politico for its inaugural event of Reddit’s Internet 2012 Bus Tour!  After The IA’s President & CEO Michael Beckerman opened the Presidential Debate Preview event, Politico’s editorial team jumped right into one-on-one sit-downs with Obama 2012 Senior Campaign Adviser Robert Gibbs, Romney’s National Counsel Ben Ginsberg, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, and SenatorMichael Bennet (D-CO).  Questions for the panelists poured in from social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.  Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian relayed questions to the panel from users of the social news website.  Panelists tackled tough issues on topics ranging from job creation and innovation to predictions about the first Presidential debate.   

Later in the day, Beckerman moderated a Facebook Politics Live panel with four University of Denver (“DU”) professors.  Beckerman kicked off the panel discussion by asking the professors what the Internet means to them.  The panel discussion later evolved into a conversation about Internet jobs and the Internet’s impact on the U.S. economy.  Check out the full panel discussion below!

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Job creation and the state of the economy remained major themes leading into the first debate.  No surprise there.  But, another theme emerged during day 1 of the tour — social media’s impact on politics and the election.  From DU students to Robert Gibbs, people recognized the importance of social media in political engagement and political campaigns.  The first Presidential debate even set a record as the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history.

Today, The IA continues on with the bus tour in Boulder, Colorado.  In the meantime, tell us – how do you think social media will impact the Presidential election?