Categorized | Opinion

Tony Lee: Sarah Palin: The Great CommuniTweeter

Tony Lee has a great article at Human Events discussing Governor Palin’s savvy in using the social medium, Twitter. Twitter is a social medium where conciseness is key, as it limits users to only 140 characters per statement or tweet. Perhaps this required conciseness points to the wisdom of one of the Founders, Thomas Jefferson, who once said, “[t]he most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” Communication is often most effective in brevity, not verbosity. "Death panel", anyone? Brevity will be a challenge today for President Obama, who is engaging in a "Twitter townhall", as he is sometimes prone to giving 17 minute answers to question posed by Americans in a townhall setting.  Governor Palin’s ability to use this medium shows that she is not only ahead of the curve on policy, but on communication techniques as well. Who else can effectively use a 140 character tweet to question the Obama administration’s poor policies, shoot down scurrilous rumors and media misinformation, support candidates for office, and cheer on a local hockey team? No one but Governor Palin. Lee writes:

Barack Obama will hold a Twitter townhall today where he will field and answer questions with the #AskObama hashtag. Recently, Obama indicated that he will regularly tweet himself from his Twitter handle,  @BarackObama.

Obama and his team are late to the game. And though he will never admit it, Obama would not be tweeting or having Twitter townhalls if it weren’t for the way former Alaska Gov. and potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin became Twitter’s trailblazer.

In fact, I have said Palin should be properly referred to as “The Great CommuniTweeter.”

On April 29, 2009, Palin, then using the handle @AKGovSarahPalin, took to her Blackberry, used her thumbs, and tweeted, “This is my official Twitter feed – from here I’ll provide updates on issues concerning Alaskans. Learn more about AK at”

It was her first tweet.

Hours later, in what would foreshadow future events, Palin then set out to correct a false story from the national mainstream media. Her second tweet was, “AP gravely misquoted my staff, saying I ‘changed my mind’ on the stimulus package. For accurate info, go to”

Attacking the biased mainstream media — in addition to linking to substantive policy proposals and attacking Obama — would be a recurring theme in Palin’s tweets.


What makes Twitter work for Palin is she has found the secret to social media — she comes across on Twitter as the type of person she is in real life. She’s authentic.

Palin’s tweets do not read like they are press releases or have been run through a series of bureaucratic operatives or focus groups.

And that is why her supporters, critics, and the media had to pay attention to every tweet.

In the process, Palin lured the members of the mainstream media onto Twitter. They had to join out of necessity and curiosity.

Of course, the GOP establishment and the mainstream media mocked Palin at first. They said she was “not serious” for just “tweeting.” And now, Twitter is conventional. It is the terrain on which more of the political game is being played.

And how the game has changed.

In real time, news and information is shared and spread. Rapid response is conducted. Reporters are spun and the stories they will write about are shaped on Twitter. News is made. Stories are scooped.

The medium partly is what it is today because the mainstream media is addicted to the medium.


Twitter was and is different. Twitter symbolizes the wild frontier.  It is democratic and meritocratic, where the cream rises to the top. It is a medium in which interesting, engaging, and dynamic writers can have the same measure of influence as a former Gov. from Alaska.

Twitter represents what some of America’s Founding Fathers referred to as the “aristocracy of the soil.” On Twitter, there were no rules, mores, or definitions of what was deemed to be conventional  — they were made up along the way by a collective community.

In short, Twitter is emblematic of exurban frontier pioneer ethos that Palin personifies and champions. And so it is symbolic Twitter is where she started anew, so to speak, after she was brutalized as John McCain’s running mate in 2008 just as American pioneers have sought out the frontier and the exurbs to begin their lives anew.

And that ethos is spreading across the world. And doing so with warp-speed that rivals the speed at which information spreads on Twitter.


No potential candidate, at this point in time, is better positioned to use new mediums such as Twitter to circumvent a political order and establishment that seems more calcified.

If Palin decides to run for president and succeeds, she will have done so because she is the “Great CommuniTweeter.”

Read the whole piece here. It is very good.

H/T to Another Black Conservative for the graphic.

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  • generictrainee

    Unconventional leadership = Palin.

    • Pete Petretich

      She can and will run circles around Obama.

  • Rich Hahn

    Sarah should tweet her own answers to Obama’s townhall questions.

    • Sue Lynn

      Sarah would send shock waves to his blackberry and it would blow up…Ka BOOM !!!!

    • spottedreptile


      ETA: If Sarah ever did something like this, I’d trust her absolutely to get out the right answers and avoid the disasters that seem to befall Obama every time he commits to print or speech. Because she is clear on her policies and beliefs, she doesn’t have to stumble and make answers up, nor would she flip flop on answers or obfusticate. She knows what she wants to say and of course she is an expert on Twitter already. I say bring it on!

      • Min Max

        anyone remembers the acronym WORM – "what obama really means"

    • Pete Petretich

      More concise, more pithy, more powerful would be every answer.

      The other "candidates" would be left jabbering and staring at their advisers.

  • Dawn Elle

    Thomas Jefferson, who once said, “[t]he most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” 

    LOVE it!!

    • MarkRNY

      Then Krauthammer and Will should be shot as traitors.

    • Min Max

      hehehe…then shouldn’t he have said something like – "the best talent is succinctness."

      There…shaved off a few more words :)

  • navak

    Will Obama be filmed tweeting?  I don’t trust that he will really be the one tweeting the answers.  Anyone know?

    • Nancy6

      navak, I think the questions were in tweet form, and his were in lying………….I mean, verbal form.

      • navak

        He will be responding verbally?  You mean he will be not be limited in his response?   Ughhhh.

        He should still have only so many words to respond to each question.

  • Myrna Navarro

    Sarah is the best communicator of today. Nobody can beat her.

  • Nancy6

    I for one sent a few questions to #AskObama:
    What club does TOTUS tell you to hit on #9 at Congressional?
    Are you on a first name basis with the Roaming Gnome because I can’t believe you would still be calling him Mr. Gnome.
    How many tweets does it take to complete a 17 minute answer?
    Not sure if he took any of my questions in the Twitter Townhall today or not.

  • Kathy Ozanne

    Paul Ryan challenged 0bama to a debate via Twitter. 

    Gateway Pundit has pics of the tweet.


  • Sue Lynn

    What has Sarah been up to??? Sarah has been LEADING…Why ?   Sarah is a Leader. Everything Sarah has done in the past till now is true LEADERSHIP!!! Sarah will LEAD us into the future with TRUTH and courage …. Hey Todd are ya fillin up the Bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Lets Roll !!!!!!

    • Exodus E Exodus

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bus Tour resumes around July 15th, just as "The Undefeated" hits those theaters.

      Also, does anyone know whether Greta did her show last night (Tues) and if so, was it from AK? or did she have a sustitute host?

      If Greta ends up being ‘out of DC’ for this week and/or next, I would look out for some ‘surprising news’ from her and Gov Palin

      • rityroo

        I think last night was a ‘Casey Anthony Extravaganza’ on FNC!

  • Nancy6

    Does anyone else think Obama’s staff will only let him answer questions that TOTUS has prepared for?

  • Kjanlady

    New Headline…….

    Sarah Palin Tweets Her Way To The WH

    from SarahPalin @USA……I’m here, I’m clear, deal with it….you’ve been punked by the barracuda!

  • Nancy6

    Since Sarah Palin lives rent free in your noggin, could you ask her when she’s gonna announce that she is running 4 President? #AskObama

  • Nancy6

    Have you learned to work an umbrella yet? #AskObama

  • Nancy6

    What skeletons would be found in ur closet if the media would ever venture to open the door? #AskObama

  • Nancy6

    How is The White House homebrewing going? #AskObama

  • Joe

    Brevity is the soul of wit… William Shakespeare

    Wit – (from the dictionary)
    1. The natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence.

    2. a. Keenness and quickness of perception or discernment; ingenuity. b. Sound mental faculties; sanity.

    3. a. The ability to perceive and express in an ingeniously humorous manner the relationship between seemingly incongruous or disparate things. b. One noted for this ability, especially one skilled in repartee. c. A person of exceptional intelligence.

  • palin45potus

    Obama can talk for 17 minutes and say nothing!

    Sarah can tweet a sentence and change a national debate!

    • MaMcGriz

      Aaaaain’t it funny how that works???

    • aafan

      After two sentences even he does not know what he told in first.

  • unseen1

    great article.

  • MaMcGriz

    President Reagan must be smiling down from somewhere in Heaven today.

    I sure hope Mrs. Reagan gets to see this term and is as touched by its symbolism as I am. 

  • patnatasha

    Sarah should hold a twiter townhall i dont’ think there is enough hours in the day for that one.

  • Joneshuynh

    I know, I know again…. You don’t need a title to be a leader, but I give her another title anyway "Twitter Queen".

    That is my decision…. and I am sticking to it.

Open Thread

Governor Palin’s Tweets