Great column by Beth Reinhard in the Miami Herald – sharing how politicians on Twitter spell “booooring” in 140 letters. For example, I’m sure we all wanted to know such facts like it takes Marco Rubio’s wife forever to blowdry her hair.
I joined Twitter this week. Does that make me a twit? (Please don’t answer that.)
This is not why I got into journalism. Spewing online quips limited to 140 letters isn’t the crusade for truth and justice I once envisioned.
But as a lucky survivor in the struggling media biz, I wanted to see what the cool kids were doing. Surprisingly, I learned a lot about Florida’s political twittering class.
Lesson No. 1: Republicans love American Idol.
I’m sure there are lots of non-GOP fans, but the Republicans in the crowd I’m observing really love them some Idol. Whooped online politics guru Justin Sayfie during Wednesday’s night’s finale: TATIANA!!!!!
Lesson No. 2: Men — Democrats and Republicans alike — love sports.
If male politicians are not fuming or gushing about their favorite professional team, they’re talking about the athletically inclined members of their family. Take Republican U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez: Off politics 4 a sec… In Notre Dame baseball, my nephew Eric threw a complete game shutout against West Virginia. Or this one from Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, a U.S. Senate candidate: Am sneaking away to watch 10 year old daughter’s basketball game tonight. Last week her team won 6-1. Yes, basketball.
Lesson No. 3: I tweet, therefore I am.
Politicians reveal the very essence of their being on Twitter. My theory: Twitter forces these naturally inclined bloviators to condense their thoughts, revealing their true nature.
Would it surprise you to know that Attorney General Bill McCollum — a perfectly well-meaning but charismatically challenged politician — is rather boring on Twitter? McCollum, who launched his campaign for governor this week, reports, I have been getting a lot of calls from supporters asking how they can help. And: About to enjoy a Sunday evening jog.
About to enjoy a nap. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
But even the normally reserved McCollum let loose the other night as his hometown basketball team advanced in the playoffs. Let’s go Magic! (He can’t help himself. Refer to Lesson No. 2.)
Back to Lesson No. 3. Anyone who would challenge the Senate aspirations of the ever-popular Gov. Charlie Crist has got to have a decent-sized ego. Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio‘s Tweets do not disappoint. Many are public-policy oriented, but he also thinks the minutiae of his life are worth espousing to the world: I am in my home office on a mac . . . I am watching my newly transplanted ficus hedge carefully for signs of shock. If we lose our hedge, we lose our privacy . . . Headed to Hernando County to speak. 8 hours in the car roundtrip! Help me organize an itunes soundtrack for my roadtrip. Any suggestions?
Let me get right on that.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, also a Senate candidate, takes the question posed by Twitter — What are you doing? — quite literally. Some examples: is voting on the Floor. . . is in the Ways and Means Committee Room . . . is eating lunch with the District Office team in Pembroke Pines.
Voters, is it comforting to know his exact location?
Today’s closing remarks come from Democratic state Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres, a potential attorney general candidate, who issued this tweet during last month’s Jewish holiday: Back home for family seder. My stomach can handle the 60-day roller coaster of a legislative session, but 8 days of matzoh is another story!
Oy! TMI, senator.