White House reporters, who get frustrated tracking the physical presence of President Barack Obama, were rushing Monday to follow him on his newly announced Twitter account.
Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.
— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
The White House communications army is trying every way to get out Obama’s views to new audiences. And while Twitter is far from new, it’s a de facto wire service for many in the media. @POTUS will now be part of their information gathering arsenal, but reporters also potentially serve as a marketing arm for the White House by retweeting him.
The White House’s official Twitter account heralded Obama’s Twitter debut earlier today.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 18, 2015
Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, David Leonhardt of The New York Times, Margaret Talev of Bloomberg and Steve Scully of C-SPAN were among the many A-list Washington reporters immediately clicking the “follow” button on Twitter.
Within a few hours, Obama had more than 900,000 followers.
And leaving no doubt about their deep loyalty to Obama, the new followers included senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and chief White House photographer Pete Souza.
White House reporters themselves were clicking follow even as they grouse about lack of access to Obama.
That lack of access is part of recent tension between the executive and the White House Correspondents’ Association, an organization that I belong to. The association is now finishing a long list of suggested coverage changes that it will present to the White House.