Michele Bachmann’s Tar Baby

I want to know who publishes the “Word a day” calendar on Michele Bachmann’s desk, because today’s word is obviously “Tar Baby”!  Perhaps she is confusing the term with “Red Herring”?

While her “Tar Baby” had the benefit of getting her back in the public eye, it inadvertently demonstrated one of the less offensive meanings of the term by sticking her with the more racist meaning.

And the racist meaning is getting her a lot of attention on Twitter:

Her office denies that she meant it in an offensive way, just saying that Obama “has gotten himself into a sticky situation.”   Just like Michele did…

Chuck Grassley’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Now that Saturday is over here on the east coast, I couldn’t resist taking another look at the viral explosion of Senator Chuck Grassley on Twitter today after he called the President “Stupid”.  Let’s start with how many Tweets mentioned him:

Tweets By Hour mentioning Senator Chuck Grassley

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His tweet went out at 11:51:22.  Prior to that moment, there had been 104 tweets mentioning him since the start of the day.  In the next 8 minutes or so (by noon), there had been 160 more tweets about him, and then the numbers skyrocketed after that.  There were over 1000 tweets between noon and 1pm!  Then things settled down until another spike that happened during the 6pm hour.

During the noon time burst, about half of the tweets were retweets, but it wasn’t it wasn’t a big retweet landslide where one or two tweets take over (like we’ve seen with huge spikes like, for example, as awareness of Travon Martin hit twitter).  The most retweeted tweets were from Grassley himself, and Chris Hayes’ calling Grassley out only got 20 retweets.  People were expressing organic outrage.

During the 5 to 7 o’clock burst (the second spike), the most retweeted message  was from David Axelrod.  At the end of the day, David Axelrod’s message got the biggest boost from retweeting, with 320 retweets and another 120 or so mentions.

It’s never a good day when your opponents get to tell the story about you…

Did Senator Grassley Call the President Stupid? Or is his Twitter Account Hacked Again?

Because that’s the charitable explanation of what’s happening.

Senator Grassley is no stranger to twitter, as he’s a consistent user.  Here’s a month by month level of tweeting he’s done over the past 12 months:

Senator Grassley's Twitter Usage

Click to See Larger

You can ignore the last dip — it’s only the 7th of April, he has lots of days to go.

And he’s going to have a lot to say.  Because look at what’s happened to the number of mentions he’s getting on Twitter:

On 4/7, his average twitter mentions jumps from around 100 to over 3000

Click on chart to enlarge

Sadly for the Senator, most of those mentions are not favorable — they are all harshly critical of his Tweets from today (April 7th).  Just three little Tweets:

Senator Chuck Grassley disrespects the President

Most of the tweets are focused on the middle one, where he calls the President stupid, although a lot of people retweeted the last one.  Brevity is the soul of wit!

While I am no fan of the Senator, I will observe the following.  As far as I can tell, in his years and years of tweeting, he used the word “stupid” only once, and in reference to a law, not a person.  It seems out of character. So I hope he didn’t call the President stupid.  Because that would be a stupid thing to do.

War on Caterpillars? Is the RNC in Wonderland?

There you are, working as the social media manager at a construction equipment manufacturer, and suddenly your name shows up all over the place on Twitter:

Caterpillar becomes a more popular term on Twitter

Click on chart to enlarge

Backhoe explode? Bad lawsuit?

Nope, the head of the Republican National Committee has compared women to caterpillars and presumably not the ones that run on diesel…

Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland

Sure, start a war on caterpillars because they smoke? That’s not very Republican…

Since not many caterpillars are on twitter, I think it’s safe to say that there’s a building anger among women (and gentlemen of honor) at the remark.

Both caterpillars and women can be forgiven for thinking they’ve landed in a bad republican wonderland.  Hmmmm … Santorum as the red queen?  Romney as the march hare? He does seem a bit like that, you’d have to admit.