Ho Chi Minh City: Barack Obama fielded questions yesterday on everything from rap and weed smoking to his good looks at a lively meeting with young Vietnamese, who see the US leader as a far cry from their staid Communist rulers.
US President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall event in Ho Chi Minh City
The US President in Vietnam held one of his trademark town hall gatherings with hundreds of youngsters in Ho Chi Minh City.
Rap Suboi, one of the country’s best known female rap artists, serenaded Obama with Vietnamese lyrics about whether people are really happy if they have lots of money. Obama praised the journey of hip-hop “which started out as an expression of poor African Americans” and became a “global phenomenon”.
Earlier in the day another young man began his question with: “Mr President, you’re so handsome.” To which Obama quickly quipped “Oh. You can just stop there if you want.”
Another asked whether Internet posts about Obama’s alleged marijuana smoking as a youth were true. “I don’t know if that’s true,” Obama quickly remarked, further dousing the issue with a warning: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”
The environment was a subject that repeatedly came up. Obama said he recognised the freedom western industrialised countries have had to pollute the earth for far longer than developing ones, but urged all countries to work together to prevent disaster. “The problem is, if a country like China or Vietnam or India took the same development path the West did, we’re all going to be under water.”