The Year's Best (And Worst) Social Media Moments in Politics

PHOTO: Hillary Clinton has joined Twitter, June 10, 2013.
Twitter

2013 saw more than a few politicians learning the ropes of social media, figuring out the art of #hashtagging, clever twitter bios, and nostalgic Instagram filters.

Some of these web-savvy representatives brought us great moments -- like Cory Booker's early morning Beyonce love to John McCain's first selfie.

And then there were the cringe-worthy typos and knee-jerk Internet reactions.

Here are some of the political world's best and worst moments on social media over the past year. And remember, kids and pols alike, think before you tweet:

Twitter, meet Hillary

"Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…" that's right, in June Hillary Clinton joined the twitterverse with a very impressive and playful biography.

The "TBD" only heightened speculation about whether the former Secretary of State will run for president in 2016.

But, it looks like Clinton wants to keep the world guessing on her plans, because her inaugural tweet hinted that she was going to have some fun with her new Twitter account.

Clinton even used the now famous meme photo, created by "Texts from Hillary" founders Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe for her avatar.

Like son, like father

A new cat. Posing with Shaq. Golf, golf, and more golf. These were just some of the snaps on George W. Bush's new Instagram in 2013, giving a more personal and behind-the-scenes views of the former president.

He must have inspired Bush Senior, who joined the Twittersphere in December with a tweet to honor the late Nelson Mandela.

The White House tries to make 'fetch' happen

The White House wasn't playing nice with first dog, Bo Obama back in August.

The official Twitter account tweeted a picture of the Portuguese Water Dog with a tennis ball in his mouth, ready to play fetch, with a sassy caption from the 2003 hit movie "Mean Girls."

"Bo, stop trying to make fetch happen," the tweet read.

The tweet is one of the accounts most popular tweets to date. It has been retweeted over 27,000 times.

If you liked it, then you should have tweeted about it

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker kept himself entertained while taking the graveyard shift of an empty chamber by tweeting with his followers about the surprise new album Beyonce had dropped that night.

Booker also later conceded that it was technically against the rules to even have electronic devices on the chamber floor (not that that's stopped anyone before). He kept the jokes going, saying the Republicans were blasting Queen B.

Colbert convinces Clinton

Bill Clinton became the grasshopper to Stephen Colbert's Mr. Miyagi this year when the late-night television host convinced the former president to hop on the Twitter bandwagon--with some mentoring of course.

Though Clinton didn't keep Colbert's original handle @PrezBillyJeff, he is now a frequent tweeter, ranging from promotion of the Clinton Foundation to lighter touches and shout outs.

Not to mention gratitude for his first teacher, who is one of only 10 people Clinton follows on Twitter (which, with the exception of Hillary and Chelsea, are all profiles of various Clinton initiatives and foundations).

Selfie SpotlightJohn McCain and daughter, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea, Michelle O and Bo

A number of high-profile politicians were quick to learn the art of social media this year, whether it was hashtags, instagram filtering, or #SELFIE.

Many were happy to share the spotlight, whether it was with their children...

Or the most famous dog in the country (PS props with the picstitch)

Josephgate

White House National Security official Jofi Joseph got the boot from the Oval office after it was confirmed he was behind the @natsecwonk Twitter account, where he had been anonymously tweeting jabs at politicians--not to mention internal information--since 2011.

"I'm a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me," one tweet from now-deleted account said.

'So when will someone do us the favor of getting rid of Sarah Palin and the rest of her white trash family? What utter useless garbage .... ,' another tweet read.

#RacismEndedWhen

The RNC started a hashtag firestorm thanks to a typo in a tweet celebrating Rosa Parks near the end of the year.

They later corrected themselves, tweeting that the "previous tweet should have read 'Today was remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism," but the twitter world had already caught on and #RacismEndedWhen was born.

The daughter who wasn't

Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen from Tennessee probably had the most, er, confusing Twitter flash of fame this year. The hiccup began after followers questioned a tweet Cohen sent out to a young woman during Obama's State of the Union address.

"nice to know you were watchin SOTU(state of the union).Happy Valentines beautiful girl. ilu"

After claiming the girl, Victoria Brink, was a daughter of a friend, Cohen then revealed she was actually his own daughter--and that he had found out about her only a few years before.

"When she let me know she was watching the State of the Union address, I was thrilled that she wanted Steve Cohen to be part of her. I had such joy, that I couldn't hold back from tweeting her," he told NBC News.

The story only got weirder when, months later, a paternity test revealed Cohen actually wasn't Brink's father, a revelation that Cohen said left him "shocked and dismayed."

It was a joke! A serious, kind of sad one.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul was the subject of major controversy this year thanks to a love of Wikipedia, but he also landed in hot water this year after a tweet comparing the security at the closed WWII memorial to that of Benghazi.

Paul later said during an interview with Fox News' On the Record that he meant the tweet as a sort of joke but that "it's really kind of serious and kind of sad."

Twitter typ-oh no

White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer had a major "oops" moment on Twitter thanks to a lapse in spell check.

While tweeting back and forth with New York Times' writer Jonathan Martin over an NBC News article discussing political polarization, Pfeiffer meant to type "also a much bigger factor on the right," but accidentally tweeted a racial slur instead.

Pfeiffer immediately deleted the tweet and apologized. And the Twittersphere accepted the apology.

Congressman Takes 'Doge' Meme Out For A Spin

Congressman Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, tried -- but failed -- to master the popular "Doge" meme. As critics have pointed out, the lawmaker who is running against Sen. John Cornyn -- a fellow Republican -- in a Texas U.S. Senate primary was a little too wordy than is common for the meme, writing complete sentences like: "support Obamacare funding."

Here's his attempt:

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...