Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

When Senators Stop Tweeting Polite and Start Tweeting Real


Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was not pleased with Barack Obama this weekend. But he didn't issue a press release, or blast him on the Sunday shows. Instead, he hit him where it would hurt: Over Twitter.

Perhaps unaware that the White House's computers are blocked from receiving Twitter, Grassley began tweeting around 7 a.m. (Twitter isn't terribly exact about these things), on Sunday morning. His first missive read:

Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us"time to deliver" on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND.

I've always been a bit surprised by the indignation congressmen muster about things like working on weekends. If I was reforming the American health-care system, I might even work holidays!

But Grassley, it seemed, hadn't quite gotten his point across. A few minutes later, he shot this tweet into the ether:

Pres Obama while u sightseeing in Paris u said 'time to delivr on healthcare' When you are a "hammer" u think evrything is NAIL I'm no NAIL

Aside from echoing Shylock's famous soliloquy in Scene I of Venice, I'm not really what that means as a piece of prose. But as ranking member of the Finance Committee, Grassley is arguably the most pivotal Senate Republican on health care. So as a matter of politics, I'd guess it means that Jim Messina is going to have to buy someone a very nice gift basket. And remember to take out the French wines.

(Photo credit:

By Ezra Klein  |  June 8, 2009; 7:04 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tab Dump
Next: How Bicycling Makes Bicycling Safer


Ha! So I'm not the only one following Chuck and laughing my butt off. I replied to that Tweet @chuckgrassley that he better be working those weekends bc my prescriptions cost $200/mo and I can't afford to go to the doctor at all!

Posted by: OrangeClouds115 | June 8, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Speak of the devil - check out his latest Tweet:

"My carbon footprint is abt 25per cent of Al Gore. I'm greener than Al Gore. Is that enuf?"

Posted by: OrangeClouds115 | June 8, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

senator grassley thinks our president is not working hard enough?
of all the nerve.
of all of the things to accuse our president of, not working hard enough cannot be one of them.
senator grassley should stop sending out meanspirited and jealous tweets, and put that energy into getting a healthcare plan for us, out here in the real world.
i am glad that when the obama family goes to paris, they bring other members of their family along to make it a special family trip.
it is also a great example to have a president who takes his wife out for a romantic dinner in paris, and has date nights, and values the woman he is married to.
the president has been a wonderful role model, in how he treats his entire family, and his wife is a remarkable, inspiring woman.
a happy president who is a loving father and husband, doesnt affect the whole world with his misery. let them enjoy their romantic evening in paris!

Posted by: jkaren | June 8, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

our senators should be working weekends, for all of the time they are enjoying themselves with lobbyists and vacations.
i have news for senator grassley, many americans are working weekends, and not complaining about it.
and barack obama was working too....not the least of which, trying to win back hearts and minds that have been long closed to us, since the bush~cheney years.
even in the kennedy years, we didnt see these warm welcomes for an american president....and in the last years, there have been flying shoes and effigies.
senator grassley should show more appreciation and respect for our president, than sending out these undignified tweets.

Posted by: jkaren | June 8, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It almost sounds like a staffer is tasked with tweeting routinely, and the staffer misunderstands the nature of contemporary hip, and Grassley misunderstands how real this stuff is. They're treating it as token - as being in some cyber realm, and addressed to some youth underclass - and not really getting that it can actually have consequences.

And you're right, jkaren, this is totally undignified. Grassley is a fool.

Posted by: wapomadness | June 8, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Wow, how terribly embarrassing. Maybe he needs to get some tips from Claire McCaskill.

Posted by: Chris_O | June 8, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong but Grassley doesn't pay for private health insurance right?

He gets the same platinum health care that all our "representatives" get. Pretty funny that I guy who never lifted a finger to help get health care for the masses is offended that the president talks about domestic policy anywhere but at his crawford ranch.

Hey Grassley, how will the free market handle the millions of food service workers in this country when a real pandemic hits?

Almost everyone who handles America's food supply from field to happy meal get no days off, and no insurance benefits.

The free market response to this sword of damocles? Double the price of tamiflu.

Posted by: feckless | June 8, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"id rthr b a hammer thn a NAIL lmao"

I think we've found Palin's 2012 running mate.

Posted by: christoffel | June 8, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he's not a nail, but he's a tool.

Posted by: jimkelly54321 | June 8, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Shorter Charles Grassley: "i'm idiot"

Would that be a micro-tweet?

Posted by: KellyRoney | June 8, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

lolsenatur: i can has hissee fit on twitter?

Posted by: bluegrass1 | June 8, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

ezra, thank goodness you are not in charge of health care reform. Kennedy's Socialized Medicine is just an over-priced HMO, disgusting. The Mass. Connector only has Blue Cross and 5 other little insurance companies. The cheapest cost for a 30-year-old male in Boston from Blue Cross is an HMO that costs$326.88 a month. The same person can get HSA insurance in Lansing, MI for $57.41 a month from America’s oldest health insurance company, TIME Insurance. Both plans have a maximum out-of-pocket of $5,000 annually but the Blue HMO only pays 50% on Rx and the cheaper TIME HSA plan pays 100%.

The TIME Health Savings Account (HSA) plan comes with a free HSA account at UMB Bank called HSA Tools. The expensive Blue Cross HMO does not qualify for an HSA so consumers must pay deductible, vision and dental expenses with after tax dollars. The TIME HSA plan has a 24 month rate guarantee and the Blue HMO doesn’t. The TIME HSA plan is worldwide coverage and the Blue HMO gatekeeper must keep you in cities in Massachusetts. Senator Kennedy wants to eliminate Blue Cross competition then pass a law that citizens must purchase health insurance, exactly like they have done in Massachusetts.

Try and defend the DNC's HMO plans VS the RNC's HSA, ezra. Good luck.

Posted by: RonGreiner | June 8, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

This is a joke, right? Please tell me this is a joke.

These twitters are from a not-too-bright thirteen year old boy posing as a senator, aren't they?

Posted by: ralpho | June 8, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I mean tweets.

Posted by: ralpho | June 8, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Are congresscritters so convinced that Twitter is the key to winning elections that they are willing to look illiterate? I guess so.

Posted by: evenadog | June 8, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Can we please make TV ads out of this? I'm no US Senator, yet I'd be embarrassed to have something like that publicly associated with my name.

Posted by: davestickler | June 8, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I have one word for you: m4Intern

Posted by: ajw_93 | June 8, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company