By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune, September 19, 2013
Twitter, the Internet platform where users send brief “tweets” of 160 or fewer characters is part of the social media rage and is frequently used by politicians and elected officials. I recently took a look at the Twitter accounts of Gov. Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) and former Gov. Charlie Crist (@CharlieCristFL) to compare the two likely opponents in next year’s race for governor and to analyze what their accounts say about them.
Although he’s been posting since 2010, Crist is an infrequent user of Twitter except around election time. Crist has just 169 tweets, he follows a mere 146 other Tweeters, and has 12,788 Tweeters who follow him.
I didn’t find any embarrassing or controversial tweets from Charlie, though I’m sure he deleted all the ones from back in the day he may have sent to @JimGreerRPOFChair. Perhaps one like this: “meet u 4 pancakes 2 plan next donor meeting?” or, “Rubio is such a twerp! He’ll scream uncle when AMEX records come out!”
Since the beginning of the year, the former governor has tweeted only two times — once to recognize veterans on Memorial Day, and once on Aug. 8, when he linked a news story about Scott launching a new purge of voter rolls.
Unlike Facebook, which requires a user’s approval to become their “friend,” you really can’t control who follows you on Twitter. Since you can’t control who follows you, it wouldn’t be fair to pass judgment or otherwise read too much into who a particular user is followed by.
But Twitter users are in total control of whom they follow.
Crist’s short list of people he follows includes prominent officials such as Scott, President Obama and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Crist also follows quite a few media types, including Piers Morgan and Wolf Blitzer, but he’s apparently un-followed the entire team of hosts at “Fox and Friends” since changing parties twice in the last two years — though strangely, he still follows Bill O’Reilly. He also follows all the pro sports teams in Florida, as well as all of the branches of the military and multiple regional chamber of commerce type groups in Florida.
The one thing that seems to be missing from Crist’s list of followers are actual “real people,” the kind of people Charlie is always saying he’s “for.” People whose names you wouldn’t recognize, who lead everyday lives; I found only four of them.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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