Entries in Twitter (63)


Michelle Obama's First Official Tweet

Alex Wong/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- Seated at a Mac laptop behind the scenes at the opening game of the World Series in St Louis, Michelle Obama typed her first “official” tweet as first lady and raised her arms over her head in victory after hitting “send.”

“Military families serve our nation too,” she wrote on the Twitter account of her military families initiative. “Let’s all show our appreciation by @JoiningForces with them.  Get involved:  -mo.”

Her initials at the end “-mo” are to signify that Mrs. Obama typed and sent the message herself.

Her own Twitter news account, run by her staff, has posted a link to a video of Michelle Obama’s first Tweet  as she sent the military families message.

But it is not really the first time Mrs. Obama entered the Twitterverse.  

Mrs. Obama was seated at the head table of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, awaiting remarks by her husband and comedian Jay Leno, when reporter Ed Henry, then of CNN, asked Mrs. Obama to send a tweet on his iPhone.

She did, writing:  “from flotus: ‘here at dinner this is officially my first Tweet. i am looking forward to some good laughs from the potus and jay.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tweet War: Romney vs. Obama Insult for Insult

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Eric Fehrnstrom and David Axelrod are two of the most important political advisers in America. They are grown-ups. But they are engaged in an ongoing war of words on Twitter that can only end with one declaring : “I know you are, but what am I” and the other retorting: ”I’m rubber, you’re glue.”

The latest round came this morning when Axelrod, a former White House adviser to President Obama and now a key force running his re-election campaign, sent a tweet exclaiming:

“A year ago, Romney hit Obama in No Apology for being too tough on China. Now Mitt’s a trade warrior? Should have called his book ‘No Shame!’”

That elicited a response from Fehrnstrom, a longtime adviser to Romney, who shot back at ”@davidaxelrod: You should rename Obama’s book ”The Audacity of Indifference’ or ‘How I Golfed My Way Through a Recession.'”

Hey, if you can’t have a direct debate between the candidates, or even a face-to-face exchange between advisers, what’s better than a volley of insults in 140 characters or less?

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Obama Campaign Makes Tweeting John Boehner, Congress Easier

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s re-election team is attempting to mobilize grassroots support for his jobs bill on Twitter, as he pitches the plan in Dallas.

The new initiative, which the Obama campaign calls “Tweet for Jobs,” features an interactive website that helps users send messages directly to Republican members of Congress by simply entering their zip code and picking from a list of pre-scripted tweets.

If an individual’s district or state is not represented by a Republican, the program sends the message to House Speaker John Boehner by default.

The tweet selections include, “Will you stand with @BarackObama and vote to pass the American Jobs Act?”; “I’m one of your constituents, and I’m urging you to pass the American Jobs Act now to strengthen our economy”; and “Vote for jobs, schools, and small businesses -- vote for the American Jobs Act.”

All three sport the hashtag #passthebill, a refrain Obama has been repeating on the stump.

“It’s been nearly a month since the president laid out the American Jobs Act, but Congress has taken no action whatsoever, with House Republican leaders vowing yesterday not even to put the bill up for a vote,” a campaign official told ABC News.

“And with the president on the road again this week urging Congress to pass this bill, we’re giving supporters the easiest possible way to join him in advocating for it, while letting all their friends and followers know exactly where they stand on this issue.”

Obama has repeatedly encouraged supporters to “call, email, tweet, fax, visit, Facebook, or send a carrier pigeon” to members of Congress to express their support for the jobs bill.

Capitol Hill sources say Obama’s calls to action have yet to result in a notable increase in email, Internet or phone traffic from constituents to members of Congress -- in either party.  Obama aides say the new initiative is aimed at turning that around.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Twitter Following Tops 10 Million

President Obama tweets during the recent Twitter Town Hall, Official White House photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s following on Twitter topped 10 million people for the first time this week, capping months of steady gains on the social network despite sagging approval ratings in the polls.

@BarackObama is now the third-most-followed Twitter user in the world, according to Twitter Counter, which tracks the social network’s 14 million users.

Only celebrity pop artists Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber eclipse the president, with 13.5 million followers and 12.6 million followers, respectively. Obama is immediately trailed in the standings by Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears.

The closest politician to Obama in the rankings is former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who ranks 149th with 2.1 million followers.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has the most Twitter followers of any of Obama’s potential 2012 Republican challengers, with 1.3 million.

An Obama campaign aide said the 10-million follower milestone, while “not earth shattering,” is a “new and exciting” development for supporters who have been hungry for some good news.

To mark the occasion, the campaign website is hawking a “limited edition” T-shirt for Twitter followers who list the president’s first-term accomplishments with hashtags.

Here’s what they include:  #DADT, #AffordableCareAct, #EqualPay, #CreditCardReform, #WallStreetReform, #IraqDrawdown, #MiddleClassTaxCut, #CleanEnergy, #AutoRecovery, #HateCrimesBill, #StudentLoanReform.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign Seeks Social Media Staffers

Dimitri Vervitsiotis / Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- If you’re an unemployed Democrat with a knack for Facebook and Twitter, President Obama’s reelection campaign may have a job for you.

The Chicago-based team of Obama strategists and organizers wants to beef up its social media presence with multiple new hires, from digital media experts to lower-level staffers, according to a job listing posted Tuesday on the electronic Democratic job bank “Jobs That Are Left.”  The announcement was first spotted by the New York Observer.

“We’re looking for writers who can tell stories in 140 characters or less, put complex policy into Facebook-friendly terms, and help plan and create original content that people will be compelled to share with their friends,” the post reads. “You should have a head for politics, a sense of humor, and buckets of common sense.”

While the total number of pending new hires may be unclear, the objective is not: to flood the online networks with savvy, articulate defenders of Obama’s record at a time when his poll numbers are tanking, and reenergize millions in an audience that was critical to Obama’s victory in 2008 that may have seen their lofty dreams of Hope and Change tempered by the realities of a stagnant economy and Washington political maneuvering.  

Obama campaign aides have said they plan aggressive, “unprecedented” outreach to voters through social media, and are designing “innovative” ways to do that.  The White House recently held the first ever presidential Twitter town hall, and Obama has utilized new interactive video teleconferencing technology to brief volunteers.

Jonathan Askin, who was a member of Obama’s technology task force in 2008, said the 2012 campaign will be defined by “mobile social, hyper-local, grassroots community organizing” that harnesses tools like Four Square and Places giving supporters real-time access to campaign activities.

As Obama’s army of 2012 social media operatives kick their plans into gear, they will have a sizeable audience listening --  much larger than any of Obama’s prospective GOP challengers.  The president has 9.8 million followers on Twitter and 22.6 million fans on Facebook.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman: The Newest Twitter-lebrity

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Jon Huntsman has found his voice in the form of 140 characters or fewer. The presidential candidate has been tweeting up a storm in the past 24 hours, and it seems no topic is off limits.

He began Thursday with a subtle jab at fellow candidate Rick Perry’s views on climate change:

@JonHuntsman: To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy., a site devoted to political twitter analysis, says Huntsman’s barb was retweeted over 3,600 times, the most retweets of any candidate in the 2012 race. He even beat out Sarah Palin’s most retweeted tweet by 50 percent.

Huntsman even crossed into the world of the Hollywood Twitteratti with a retweet by The Office’s Rainn Wilson. Wilson then tweeted:

@rainnwilson: I believe in man made climate change and I believe in evolution, I just don't believe in gravity.

Today Huntsman replied:

@JonHuntsman: .@RainnWilson I'm proud to be Republican, party of Lincoln, Teddy, Reagan. My q for you. Any relation to Brian Wilson?

Huntsman’s twitter bump prompted him to dig into the president.

@JonHuntsman: And also, with the jobs crisis this country faces, President Obama should be calling Congress back to DC, not going on a 10 day vacation.

With a sea of new followers, Huntsman started to go off the cuff:

@JonHuntsman: I wonder if a tweet where I admit how much I like Captain Beefheart will make the followers skyrocket even more!

Huntsman, who dropped out of high school to play keyboard with the band Wizard, has never shied away from talking about his fondness of all things rock.

On Friday, with the twitterverse on high Huntsman alert, the former governor came back to President Obama.

@JonHuntsman: D.C./Obama shouldn't be taking August off. U.S. needs serious solutions. Let's fix Washington and make America work

Like any aspiring twitter-lebrity, Huntsman managed to sqeeze a plug into his timeline, while still maintaining his newfound sarcastic style.

@JonHuntsman: .@PiersMorgan - Looking forward to being on Monday's show. Will try and have as much fun as @ChristineOD did.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman's Coded Swipe at Rick Perry on Climate Change

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- From the moment Rick Perry declared he would run for president, Jon Huntsman has doled out nothing but love for his fellow candidate, calling him "a good friend and a good man."

But that changed on Thursday when Huntsman took to Twitter, subtly calling out Perry’s views on global warming.

Huntsman tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

The tweet comes on the heels of a comment made by Huntsman’s chief strategist, John Weaver, to the Washington Post about views Perry made clear in his book, Fed Up!.

"We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party,” Weaver said.  “The American people are looking for someone who lives in reality and is a truth teller because that’s the only way that the significant problems this country faces can be solved.  It appears that the only science that Mitt Romney believes in is the science of polling, and that science clearly was not a mandatory course for Governor Perry.”

In his book, Perry references “doctored data” in studies on climate change, writing: “They know that we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time.  Quite frankly, when science gets hijacked by the political Left, we should all be concerned.”

Perry made similar statements on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Wednesday, when he said man-made climate change is "still a scientific theory."

On Thursday, Perry was asked in New Hampshire about his thoughts on evolution, by a boy and his mother.

"Here your mom was asking about evolution, and you know it's a theory that's out there, and it's got some gas in it.  In Texas we teach both creationsim and evolution in our public schools," Perry said.  "Because I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one is right."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Campaign Pushes Back on Fake Twitter Followers Accusation

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Newt Gingrich’s campaign continues to push back on accusations that many of the presidential candidate’s 1.3 million Twitter followers -- a number he boasted was the most of any Republican candidate -- are actually fake.

“We’ve never utilized firms, agencies, or outside organizations to inflate Newt’s Twitter followers,” R.C. Hammond, press secretary for Newt Gingrich, told ABC News.

A Gawker story released Monday cited an unnamed former staffer as saying 80% of Gingrich’s Twitter followers are fake and Gingrich employed social media agencies to create phony accounts to boost his Twitter following.  

Tuesday, PeekYou, a social media analytics site, announced it used an algorithm to evaluate Gingrich’s Twitter followers and found that 92 percent of them are fake.

"The data supported that out of Newt’s 1.3 million followers only 8 percent (2 percent less than claimed in recent media reports), are identified by our algorithm as humans, meaning Newt’s follower count is really closer to 106,055,” Michael Hussey, CEO and founder of PeekYou!, said in the company’s blog.

One potential explanation for Gingrich’s large Twitter following is that Twitter has promoted Gingrich as a “suggested user.”

“It's our policy not to comment on specific accounts.  In general, though, the suggested user list is a very effective way for people to find you on Twitter, and helps boost follower count,” Jodi Thomas, a spokesman for Twitter, told ABC News in an e-mail Monday.

In May, Newt Gingrich made history by becoming the first candidate ever to use Twitter to announce his presidential run.  At the time of his announcement, Gingrich had 1.3 million followers on Twitter, and since then, the growth in his Twitter following has been stagnant.

Gingrich maintains his own account and has used Twitter since 2009.  Gingrich also has over 9600 followers on the new Google+ site and has held two “hangouts,” which are video chat sessions, to talk with potential voters over the Internet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The Truth About Gingrich's Twitter Followers

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Newt Gingrich has laid out a new argument for why he should be the GOP presidential nominee: He's got the most Twitter followers. But according to a former Gingrich staffer, he bought them.

The former staffer tells media website Gawker that many of the former House speaker’s followers are creations of a firm he allegedly hired to boost his Twitter numbers.

Gingrich said recently that the media hasn’t taken into account that he has “six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined.”

That criteria, Gingrich contends, means he should be the obvious pick to run against President Obama next year. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann each have fewer than 100,000 Twitter followers.

However, the one-time Gingrich staffer makes the claim that 80 percent of Newt's “followers” are linked to inactive or dummy Twitter accounts created by “follow agencies,” while another ten percent belong to a network of people who follow others back or who themselves paid for followers.

If all that’s true, Gingrich’s actual number of real Twitter followers is around 132,500 – which is still impressive, but doesn’t make him the runaway political choice of the social networking crowd.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House 'Rickrolls' Twitter User over Briefing

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- During the White House briefing on Wednesday, David Wiggs of Franklin, Tennessee, known on Twitter as @wiggsd, tweeted: “This WH correspondence (sic) briefing isn't nearly as entertaining as yesterday's. #TCOT #WHchat”

Oddly enough, the White House responded: “@wiggsd Sorry to hear that. Fiscal policy is important, but can be dry sometimes. Here's something more fun: #WHChat.”

The link is to a video of Rick Astley singing his worldwide number one hit from 1987, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

This is known in the Internet world as “Rickrolling” someone -- a prank in which you send someone a link they think will be of someone else and instead it’s the Rick Astley video.

Wiggs wrote back to the @WhiteHouse “Love it!” but later tweeted that the “@Drudge should have story ‘6 days from default, both sides scrambling...but Whitehouse rickrolling twitter user.’”

A headline at the Drudge report mentions “6 Days from Default, Both Sides Scrambling.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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