President Obama created a barrage of activity on Twitter on Friday afternoon when he began urging his more than 9 million followers to tweet at their Republican Congressmen to “ask them to support a bipartisan solution to the deficit crisis.”
The @BarackObama account then preceded to tweet out the Twitter handles of Republican Congressmen state-by-state. The account has also been making use of the hashtag #compromise in an effort to drive home the message of bipartisanship…
As we noted in our earlier coverage, however, some users felt the state-by-state tweets were creating way too much noise — the President has lost nearly 37,000 followers so far today.
To put it another way, he lost twice as many followers today as jobs created last month. Go have a look at his Twitter feed. His staff was beaming out the Twitter handles of congressional Republicans every few minutes for six hours. They could have achieved the same thing by tweeting this once every half-hour, say, until the House vote finally began. And the dumbest part? The congressmen they were targeting were trying to compromise by passing Boehner’s bill and advancing the ball so that a deal can be struck before Tuesday. If anyone needed lobbying to “compromise,” it was the 22 Republican tea-party holdouts.
But that’s not the punchline. This is:
But could this strategy have an unintended consequence for the president? With 9.4 million followers, Obama’s campaign account is one of the most followed. Mentioning GOP foes to Obama’s followers could help boost their followings on Twitter.
By midafternoon on Friday, that seemed to be the case.
A Senate Republican staffer told National Journal that Republican Senators, in total, added about 6,500 new followers throughout the afternoon.
Said one polisci professor, “It’s the cyber-equivalent of pre-printed postcards — totally ineffectual.” Exit quotation from one Twitter user who got tired of being spammed: “I just unfollowed @barackobama seemed like a good #compromise.”