One of the more maddening stories (for a Democrat) that I read today? Coverage in US News’s Washington Whispers blog of an analysis from OhMyGov of Tweets submitted during yesterday’s Obama “Twitter Town Hall.” Maddening why? Because submissions from Republican Congressmembers outnumbered those from their Democratic colleagues by more than three to one. Way to seize the moment there, y’all!
Of course, all the necessary caveats apply: this was just an hour-long Q&A, not exactly a world-changing moment. And, we have no way to know whether Congressional Tweets had much influence on the overall direction of the event, though the Washington Whispers column suggests that it might have (Speaker Boehner certainly got a message in). But still, this feels representative of a general slackness on the social media front when it comes to Democratic Congressmembers — after all, plenty of people across the country (and beyond) were monitoring the #askobama hashtag before, during and after the discussion, making it a good opportunity to promote messaging.
The Republicans were aggressively on-target by contrast, at least judging from the small number of topics they hammered again and again (questions from the public were far more diverse — goooo marijuana legalization!). Fortunately for Dems, certain knowledgeable friends-of-e.politics are trying to remedy their social media woes, and perhaps we’ll have a better idea of whether or not their word is paying off once the campaign season kicks in. Though there are plenty of messaging wars to be won between now and then, and liberals are fools to cede the playing field to conservatives.
Speaking of conservatives, also check out Nate Silver’s piece on the changing Republican congressional electorate and what it means for their political options (hint: sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind). Note: sent in by A Loyal Reader (thanks Dad!).