Politicians get Twitter jitters

June 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

In the wake of the strange Ballad of Rep. Anthony Weiner, politicians of both parties are saying ‘no’ to Twitter–at least for the time being.

TweetCongress, a website that monitors Congress members’ tweets, has found that tweets from politicians are down 27 percent since Weinergate erupted, as reported by Politico. That’s both sides of the aisle.

Because if there’s one thing that both parties can agree on, it’s that being nationally humiliated is for the birds.

Is this just a knee-jerk reaction, perhaps? The tacit acknowledgment by politicians that people out there are combing through their tweets just looking for any kind of foul-up that might make news? Do politicians suddenly feel an extra target on their #backside?

It’s more likely this is just a precautionary step initiated by press secretaries around the country, as they double-check their politician’s former posts and make sure nothing could be misconstrued or inflammatory. It’s also likely that new manuals are being written and published right now as we blog, regarding the do’s and don’ts of tweeting for public figures. Maybe they’ll call it “Tweeting For Dummies Who Happen to Be Celebrities or Public Figures.” Or something like that.

But most politicians aren’t so stupid. Weiner took a hit for the team; now, if anyone is caught texting, emailing, or tweeting unsavory information, they will really have no excuse except for some deep-seated addiction or compulsion that has completely warped their brain. They will likely be forced to resign immediately just for being a total idiot. It won’t even matter whether they read the chapter in the Dummy book titled: “Don’t send anything online that you wouldn’t send to your grandmother.”

Still, we bet that politicians will resume tweeting as soon as Weinergate blows over–if not sooner. There is an election coming in 2012. Most politicians know that Twitter is a vitally important tool for keeping in touch with their constituents.  The smart ones have already begun building their online presence for what experts predict will be the largest use of Social Media during an election yet. How could it not be?

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