Congress's New Love Affair with Twitter

  • Share
  • Read Later

(2 of 3)

At least four GOP Representatives, for instance, Twittered in real time President Obama's meeting two weeks ago with their conference on Capitol Hill to discuss the stimulus plan, raising questions about the levels of privacy members can now expect from closed-door meetings. A sampling from Representative Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican:

Very respectful interchange. Sharp differences are muted. 11:56 AM Jan 27th from TwitterBerry

On both sides. 11:56 AM Jan 27th from TwitterBerry

At least Obama has talked about the stimulus for an hour. Which is about an hour longer than Dem leadership has spent with us on this. 12:15 PM Jan 27th from TwitterBerry

Legislating is always an imperfect process. 12:16 PM Jan 27th from TwitterBerry

Obama finished talking to conference. I am not certain if many minds were changed on either side. 1:14 PM Jan 27th from TwitterBerry

Members on both sides of the aisle Twittered from within their closed retreats the past two weekends. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, one of the most followed members on Twitter with more than 4,000 devotees, not only Twittered Obama's closed-door meeting last week with Senate Democrats but posted 17 Tweets from the select and secretive bipartisan Alfalfa Club dinner chaired by Missouri Senator Kit Bond and attended by Governor Sarah Palin, President Obama and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, among others.

First McCaskill referenced a James Bond joke:

The President is now discovering that Joe Biden is the reason that Amtrak created the quiet car. Huge laugh. 8:16 PM Jan 31st from TinyTwitter

Then she wrote:

Kit selling chestnuts. Palin sitting next to Barbara Bush. Two seats from Gov Sebelius. Just made Larry Craig joke. Rough. 8:20 PM Jan 31st from TinyTwitter

Tweets can also be serious. Journalists recently watched the Twitter accounts of McCaskill, Senator John McCain and Maine Senator Susan Collins for any word on the state of negotiations for the Senate stimulus package. "We're not quite at the point where I can cover 535 characters in 140 characters, but the best Twitterers in Congress are the ones who don't use it as yet another venue for tired talking points but give us a first-person look behind the scenes," says Olivier Knox, a reporter for Agence France-Presse covering Congress who has written stories after being tipped off by Representatives' Tweets.

See the top 10 celebrity Twitter feeds.

See the best social networking applications.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3