Dome Magazine, 11/16/09
When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flicked off the lights in Congress last summer instead of taking up the GOP’s offshore drilling legislation, a Twitter star was born.
Pete Hoekstra, the Republican congressman from Holland best known as the party’s point man on counterterrorism, might have seemed an unlikely tweeter. But the former furniture executive also is known for his brevity, so the 140-character-or-less format proved a good fit. And while Hoekstra was huddled in the darkened chambers with GOP lawmakers, including Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Brighton), he kept the outside world abreast of their “Drill, baby, drill” protest.
“We found it to be an effective way to communicate,” smiles Hoekstra, who’s running for governor next year.
Since July 2008 he’s averaged more than one tweet a day, with 8,704 (and counting) followers. While that doesn’t begin to approach the territory of Twitter top dog/actor Ashton Kutcher (3,978,133 followers) or congressional king John McCain (1,576,416), Hoekstra’s missives certainly have courted more controversy.
On his 11th trip to Iraq, in February, he tweeted details from the itinerary, such as being in the green zone in Baghdad, which Democrats claimed revealed classified information and jeopardized members’ safety. The flap caused the Pentagon to announce it will review congressional communications from war zones.