Feb 12, 2009

Lawmakers all a-Twitter

Does knowing a plane crashed in the Hudson 15 minutes earlier than it's reported by the New York Times count as revolutionary? I'm not sure it does, but I am interested in the Twittering going on in the halls of Congress, as attention-starved lawmakers slip the surly bonds of their staff flaks and Tweet from inside closed door meetings and gatherings.

From Time magazine:
At least four GOP Representatives, for instance, Twittered in real time President Obama's meeting two weeks ago with their conference on Capitol Hill to discuss the stimulus plan, raising questions about the levels of privacy members can now expect from closed-door meetings.
That's a micro-blogging trend I can get behind.

The Sunlight Foundation even offers a running feed of Congressional Tweets (you can even download a widget for you website). After watching for a few minutes, one realizes how boring legislators can be. However, there are nuggets of news there - for instance, a couple lawmakers just Tweeted that the stimulus bill is unlikely to come up for a vote until Friday.

As Twittering becomes more common on Capitol Hill it's also likely to become more formalized (think about the campaign blogs), meaning they will be written by staffers to promote their boss's agenda. But for now, let's hold out hope that something interesting leaks out.

No comments: