Congresscritters Twitter

February 26, 2009

Congress supposedly is getting its tweet on. According to recent news reports, many of our elected representatives have adopted Twitter, the free microblogging service. But as with any new technology, there are those who dive in and those who dip their toes in the water.

Rep. Mary Bono Mack — a California Republican who succeeded her late husband, Sonny Bono — has 36 followers. I could sign up and be one of her earliest followers! But she’s only posted five items, so it wouldn’t be that exciting.

I knew Sen. Mark Begich, the Alaska Democrat who unseated Ted Stevens, when I lived in Alaska 25 years ago. He was just a kid; my connection was actually with his older brother, Tom. Begich has 41 followers, but he’s only tweeted once — and that was in November of last year.

My own congressman, Keith Ellison, has only tweeted 19 times in the last year. Sen. Amy Klobuchar posts regular updates,  but they’re strictly links to press releases — there’s no human communication. It’s no different with our senator-in-waiting, Al Franken. He’s tweeted seven times this year, all of the press-release variety.

Contrast that with Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Democrat, who lets her hair down on Twitter.

“Starving. Workout, radio, hearing. No time for brkfst. Not good cause this is when I eat stuff that’s not healthy,” McCaskill tweeted yesterday. Another tweet from earlier in the week: “Worked all day, now get to go to movie tonight. The Reader. Popcorn and Diet Coke for dinner. Doesn’t get any better than that.”

McCaskill’s got more than 10,000 followers, and no wonder — she actually gives them real, interesting content.