Reputation management? This Wall Street Journal column from Daniel Henninger post late Wednesday basically makes the case of how President Barack Obama leveraged Twitter over the last 16 days to do a number on the GOP and argues that Republicans failed to respond effectively. I thought it parallels nicely with our lecture last night about the need to match/respond to social media directly in its own form vs. old style communications.(If you can’t access the link (you may a digital subscription) but want to read the full article, let me know in comments below and I can send you a link via email from the site.
“…Want a look at how a pro is spinning the Washington mess? Punch into Twitter.com and type “Barack Obama” into the search window. Click on “Barack Obama,” next to the “End This Now” logo. The Obama tweets the past week have been fairly amazing. As in the presidential campaign against Mitt Romney, the Twitter feeds going out in the name of the president of the United States are virtually wall-to-wall propaganda.
Barack Obama: “If the debt ceiling isn’t raised by Thursday, America could face an economic shutdown.” This from the man who accuses the GOP of “manufacturing crises.”
Everyone recalls the 2012 campaign’s carpet bombing of “the wealthiest,” even after they’d been shelled with a tax increase. Barack Obama has found—actually, it was handed to him—a scapegoat analogous to “the wealthiest” and “the banks” for his campaign to suppress votes for GOP candidates in the 2014 elections. It’s “tea party Republicans.”
Barack Obama: “Tea Party Republicans are threatening an economic shutdown. Tell them to #EndThisNow.”
Barack Obama: “The #TeaPartyShutdown is harming small businesses. Say you’ve had #EnoughAlready.”
Wednesday’s first Obama tweet: “Day 16 of the #TeaPartyShutdown. This can’t continue—Congress needs to #EndThisNow.”
This isn’t routine partisan noise. The Obama Twitter account lists 38,258,000 followers. Unless some of these are fake, that’s nearly 30% of the total popular vote in 2012. All through the week, this number rose as the site poured forth boiling oil.
Virtually every Obama tweet demonizes the tea party. Last week, within minutes of the collapse of the Obama-Boehner talks, the tweeting robot called “Barack Obama” had hung the collapse on the “tea party.”
Wednesday morning (with even the New York Post cover depicting Uncle Sam going over Niagara Falls on the “Brink of Disaster”), the machinery that runs @BarackObama rolled into view. It’s the former Obama re-election apparatus, which has shape-shifted into a 501(c)(4) group called Organizing for Action.
From the Barack Obama Twitter feed at 10 a.m.: “Be a part of @OFA’S Twitter takeover and tell Congress to #EndThisNow.”
Republicans complain constantly that the media “lets him get away with it.” The media is floating down the electric river. No, they—the message-impoverished Republicans—let him get away with it. The Washington GOP is now a political Gulliver, tied down by tweets and twerps…”