White House Social Media Rapid Response Twitter Feed Launched

We’ve written several times recently about the growing impact and use of social media with politics, including posts on presidential campaign bids being launched on Twitter or Facebook by Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty and how social media might help the campaigns of President Obama and Ron Paul. Today we have news of a new official White House rapid response Twitter feed.

The online response Twitter account here takes the name of Jesse C. Lee and according to Sam Stein of The Huffington Post, the account has been set up for “helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.” Jesse Lee is now the Director of Progressive Media & Online Response, a newly created social media role in the communications department.

This is yet another example of social media coming to the fore of mainstream politics and Jesse Lee began his new role by sending a tweet saying, “OK, turning on the White House Twitter machine that they issued me in 3… 2… 1…” accompanied by a Twitpic link according to Alice Lipowicz on fcw.com. Rather bizarrely the image showed a metal skull with red eyes and a toothy grin reminiscent of The Terminator. Maybe Lee is trying to tell us something!

It does seem a rather odd way to kick off an official White House account although tweets made since appear to be a bit more regular. The account now has almost 1,500 followers, which will no doubt grow as people hear more about it. What are your thoughts about this new social media communications method from the White House? Let us know with your comments.