President Obama Uses Twitter to Drum Up Support for Debt Ceiling Deal
President Barack Obama is quite fond of technology, and has used social media in the past to connect to his supporters. With Congress caught up in partisan deadlock over raising the "debt ceiling," President Obama and his supporters have turned to Twitter to demand a compromise.
It just so happens that his call comes on what is almost a Twitter holiday known as "Follow Friday." Follow Friday is a longstanding Twitter tradition, during which twitterers post statuses with recommendations of who to follow. Here, President Obama and his supporters seem to be celebrating #FollowFriday in grand style.
Calls by President Obama to use Twitter first came in a Friday morning press conference. President Obama lamented the lack of progress as the Tuesday deadline for default quickly approached, and asked citizens to "make a phone call, send an e-mail, tweet" their representatives to demand a solution.
This is the second time that the President has called on Americans to contact Washington over the debt battle. He made a similar call in a prime time speech on Monday evening. Monday's request ended up briefly overloading the Capitol switchboard and took the websites of several lawmakers offline.
This time, President Obama appears to be leaning mainly on Twitter. "The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet," President Obama tweeted.
The @barackobama twitter account then went state by state, listing the handles of Republican legislators and calling for twitterers to contact them and demand a deal.
It is hard to judge just how successful the President's latest salvo in the increasingly bitter battle over the debt ceiling battle may be. However, that President Obama even mentioned Twitter in the same vein as other established communications mediums is a pretty significant endorsement.
Obama's opponents are also turning to Twitter to for support. If you search for tweets about the President's plea, there are plenty of calls for voters to tweet the same representatives and ask them not to compromise. There are even calls for voters to tweet the President and ask him to compromise and acquiesce to Republican demands.