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Twittering Obama’s Speech
By Ian Paul
President Obama spoke of the serious issues facing America last night, and while he was delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress, some of its members were busy providing color commentary through Twitter. If you take a look at the Twitterstream on Tweet Congress, you’ll see that for the most part, last night’s Tweets were respectful disagreements or enthusiastic support that went straight down party lines.
However, Twitter is all about immediate reactions, and that’s exactly what we got from a few lawmakers who could’ve chosen their words a little more carefully. Like kids passing notes in class, some lawmakers were busy sending love notes, while others got carried away with partisan rhetoric.
Here’s a selection of a few of my favorites
Spending seemed to get the biggest rise out of the more conservative members of the House.
Rep. Lee Terry (NE): Congress is spending at a rate that now would embarrass most drunken sailors and we can’t allow that to continue.
Rep. Zach Wamp (TN): Sitting at the State of the Union listening to words like responsibilty [sic] and accountability just days after a reckless spending spree.
Rep. Zach Wamp (TN): Pres Obama is moving the “center” to the left. We must stand our ground as conservatives. Liberal leaders in Congress threaten freedom.
Most of the Democrat tweets were from one man during Obama’s speech. There were others, such as Sen. Claire McCaskill, but few were tweeting with the enthusiasm of Rep. Blumenauer last night. To say that he was enamored with the President’s speech is an understatement. Just watch this progression:
Fresh Air: “One doesn’t want to sound snarky, but it is nice not to see Cheney up there.”
The fan boy: “Can’t put the speech down. Messages so welcome and so overdue. Can’t wait to see if any changes and how he delivers, and reaction in chamber” [Members of Congress received an advance copy of the speech]
Excitement: “Energy, healthcare and education! Right on!”
The Critic: “Strong language. Well crafted. Not so many applause lines. Some in the audience not sure how to react.”
Romance: “One of the teleprompters is directly between the President and me. But I am sure he delivered the line about stark budget realities to me”
Cheerleader: “Requests legislation for market based cap on carbon pollution. I am the first one standing and cheering.”
More Cheerleading: “Some Republican Senators are standing and clapping, including McCain. Great!”
The lifting of oppression: “Best line: “For 7 years we have been at war. No longer will we hide its price.”
On an Obama high: “Wow! As it settles in, I can only say: he hit it out of the park! Just what Congress and American people need to hear! Yes we can!”
And then a few moments later when Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave the Republican response to the President’s speech, Blumenauer’s high turned to . . .
Post-Obama Speech Hangover: “Jindal is weird. I can’t believe Jindal. Such a sad contrast with President. Doesn’t even look or sound good, to say nothing about content.”
It’s official, folks — politicians have discovered Twitter, and you can bet that now they’ll never stop broadcasting their opinions to the world. The only question is, if everyone’s talking, then who’s listening?