Opinion: Joe Biden has a beautiful, simple new Twitter account, but will he use it?
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Joe Biden was given a valuable Twitter handle a few days ago. A username as concise as @VP is impossible to come by unless you know people in high places.
Fortunately for Biden, one of the creators of Twitter (Jack Dorsey aka @Jack) apparently is a fan of the administration, and will be making a visit to the White House on Wednesday to moderate a Twitter Town Hall with President Obama answering questions from the social network.
Because of scheduling conflicts, the vice president will not be in attendance, which is probably good because how awkward would it be for Biden to explain to the co-founder of Twitter that he hasn’t had time in his busy schedule to type out 140 characters to truly break in his new account?
Sure, two tweets have emerged from the @VP account in the two days of its existence, but if Mr. Biden actually wrote them he is speaking about himself in the third person. ‘VP will join POTUS for mtg at WH w/House & Sen leaders on 7/7; agrees we need balanced approach & cannot continue to kick can down the road,’ said the most recent @VP tweet.
More than likely the initial tweets were written by someone like Amy Dudley, Biden’s deputy press secretary, who wrote the blog post Monday announcing the addition of @VP to the list of other White House Twitter accounts.
But will Biden, always one with a joke, a quip, or something interesting, let his fingers do the talking on his new account? Dudley’s opening salvo makes it seem unlikely.
‘Through @VP, Vice President Biden’s staff will keep followers up to speed on all things happening in the Office of the Vice President (OVP) – from the West Wing, to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the Office of Dr. Jill Biden, to the Naval Observatory,’ Dudley wrote. If I may speak for America, and Twitter users everywhere, this is what we would prefer: ‘Through @VP, Vice President Biden and his staff will keep followers up to speed...’
The voters spoke in 2008. They chose the Obama/Biden ticket. While press releases and messages to the military and their families via a tech-savvy staff are fine, these are dark days that can be brightened by a photo or a quip from the vice president as he travels around meeting interesting people and solving problems along the way. Twitter, a great American invention, allows a tiny little keyhole into the world from all who use it. Why wouldn’t we want to see what smiling Joe Biden’s world is about?
This administration promised it would be transparent. That doesn’t always work out, even when the VP is holding meetings about transparency.
When speaking to Nasdaq in 2007, candidate Obama said this about the mortgage crisis: ‘We also know we would have been far better off if there were greater transparency and more information had been available to the American people.’
So the question is, don’t you think the American people would be far better off if there was greater transparency and more information from someone who is a heartbeat away from the president? And if so, wouldn’t Twitter be a great way to get the conversation started?
Probably the vice president would have a fine answer to that. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to answer it on his Twitter feed. What a waste of American ingenuity.
-- Tony Pierce