President Obama Is Huge on Twitter

The Obama White House has a warped messaging strategy. In this week’s Time Magazine, Obama’s senior advisor and former campaign manager David Plouffe celebrates the president as a sort-of entertainer-in-chief, rather than a serious leader.

Plouffe tells Time that when President Obama recently spoke about immigration at the Texas border and said off-script of those who want greater border security: “Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they’ll want alligators in the moat,” this was a messaging victory.

According to Plouffe, the messaging “victory” is apparently measured by the amount of times that line was repeated on Twitter, regardless of how it was accepted. Not many communications strategists would see such a negatively-received off-the-cuff remark as a success, but Plouffe does.

Similarly, Plouffe “proudly” celebrated the president’s White House Correspondents Dinner comedy routine for getting over eight million views on YouTube. Plouffe said: “People saw that and said, ‘I am going to share it with my family and friends.’”

For the casual Twitter user, seeing your material re-tweeted is a confidence or ego building exercise. But for a White House communications team, the analysis would hopefully dig a little deeper. After all, President Obama has over eight million Twitter followers. The White House has an additional two million followers. If the president’s goal is to beat Ashton Kutcher, who has six million Twitter followers, he has already won. (But he’s got a long way to go to top Lady Gaga.)

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