McCain Shows Palin No Twitter Love

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Last fall, John McCain hailed Sarah Palin as “experienced” and “talented.” He declared, “she knows how to lead,” and he predicted that “she’s really going to have a remarkable impact on the American people.” Nowadays, McCain doesn’t follow her on Twitter.

Palin, as of Friday morning, had 34,558 followers of her feed on Twitter. The Arizona senator is not among them.

Almost all of Palin’s tweets concern Alaskan matters. “Loved all the hard hats,” Gov. Palin tweeted on Wednesday after attending the kickoff of a prison construction project in Alaska. She has not posted one Twitter message on the Iranian elections. But she did urge Alaskans “to celebrate American Flag Day.”

McCain, who has 800,000 followers on Twitter, follows only 48 people. Over a third are journalists, including Jake Tapper of ABC News, David Gregory of Meet the Press, Sean Hannity, and Ana Marie Cox. (An old joke in Washington is that McCain’s base is the DC press corps.) McCain keeps track of his wife, his (shall-we-say) feisty daughter Meghan, and son John McCain IV, as well as several of his aides.

On Twitter, McCain pays little attention to other Republicans. He subscribes to the Twitter feeds of the Senate Republicans and the GOP’s Senate campaign committee. But he only follows three fellow politicians, including a Democrat: Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. The other two pols he’s interested in are Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Chris Christie, who’s running for governor in New Jersey.

In the Twittersphere, McCain just doesn’t seem to care about his fellow Republican senators. Not even Twitter-crazy Chuck Grassley. He is more attuned to the tweets of journalists. And even though McCain once cited Palin as a future leader of the United States, he shows  her no Twitter love. (McCain has tweeted that he was glad talk show host David Letterman apologized to Palin for making a crude joke involving her daughter.)

Palin, though, is keeping an eye on McCain. On Twitter, she follows 41 people, and McCain is one of them. (When she first started on Twitter in April, Palin was not monitoring McCain, but she added him after a media report pointed out that she had left her onetime running-mate off her Twitter list.) Other tweeters of interest to Palin include House minority whip Eric Cantor, California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger, and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. She tracks Republicans she could face in the 2012 primaries, should she run for president: Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Newt Gingrich, and Pawlenty. Also on her list: Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly.. No Katie Couric or David Letterman.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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