White House comms team, cheese puns, take center stage of post-SOTU Twitter Q&A

The Obama administration paid homage to one of President Andrew Jackson's quirkier events - and an episode of The West Wing - by hosting "Virtual Big Block of Cheese Day" on Wednesday.

Obama administration officials are answering questions from Twitter users following the State of the Union on Tuesday night as an homage to President Andrew Jackson and, of course, The West Wing.

The online chat was inspired in part by Jackson, who in 1837 "had a 1,400-pound block of cheese hauled into the main foyer of the White House for an open house with thousands of citizens and his staff," according to the White House blog.

The White House – which apparently banked on people being able to stomach several cheese puns like "a gouda idea" and "brie-unite" – is also calling back to an episode of The West Wing where the fictional staff decided to bring Jackson’s event into a new century.

On Tuesday, former West Wing actress Allison Janney previewed #AskTheWH in a video on Instagram, followed by show alum Martin Sheen, who played President Jed Bartlet.

When #AskTheWH kicked off on Wednesday afternoon, some staffers seemed to fully embrace the theme. Several federal agencies got involved in the event, as well as the White House’s Spanish-language Twitter account, @lacasablanca.

Among the high-ranking White House staffers who participated were Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Communications Director Jen Palmieri, and director of the office of public engagement Paulette Aniskoff.

Searching the #AskTheWH hashtag returned what seemed to be overwhelmingly genuine questions from users – at least by about 1:30 pm.

People were getting answers, too.

Some media members made their way into the chat, as well.

The plan is for #AskTheWH to continue throughout Wednesday, with different members of the administration hopping online to share the metaphorical cheese with Americans.

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