Nebraska GOP Chair Tweets About Trick-Or-Treating With "Jon Benet"

November 02, 2009 11:26 am ET — Chris Harris

On Halloween, Mark Fahleson, chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party, tweeted that he was "done trick or treating with Cleopatra and Jon Benet." Really.

Twitter: The Frenemy

As the Republican Party attempts to stumble its way back to relevancy, it has turned to a myriad of social networking websites to increase its appeal among younger voters. 

In September, Politico reported, "Nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats have accounts on the social networking platform Twitter (101 compared with 57), and the GOP dominates Twitter usage by an even wider margin."

Time and time again, Republican officials have pointed to the GOP's "Twitter advantage" as evidence of a Republican resurgence.

Not everyone is so sure, though.

In June, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, The Fix, penned an open memo to politicians titled, "Got a Political Career? Don't Tweet It Away."

Cillizza wrote:

Twitter is not your friend. No doubt any number of your colleagues have urged you to begin Twittering -- sending your thoughts on life, the universe and everything out to the world in bite-sized, 140-character chunks.

Don't do it.

Twitter may be all the rage for athletes, Ashton Kutcher, Oprah and even the Fix, but it is a bad, bad idea for politicians.

[...]

[A]ny medium that encourages instant reactions dashed off on a BlackBerry or iPhone and condensed into 140 characters is a recipe for disaster in the political arena.

The memo was sage advice coming from an astute political observer. As it turns out, Cillizza was right on the money.

The Nebraska GOP Chair Didn't Get The Memo

On Halloween, Mark Fahleson, chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party, tweeted that he was "done trick or treating with Cleopatra and Jon Benet."

Really. He said that

There may very well be more to the story than a short tweet can convey, but at first blush it appears that Fahleson was going door-to-door with someone who was dressed as a tragically murdered six year old beauty queen.

It doesn't take a lot of political knowledge to predict that most people would find such a costume extremely offensive. In fact, it would be odd if Fahleson, himself a father of three young girls, wasn't offended as well.

Unless he is able to explain himself, it appears as if Fahleson may turn out to be one of Twitter's first political casualties - only time will tell.

Print