Friday, July 8, 2011


I attended President Obama's tweet-up Wednesday. Did you?

It was the biggest chat of all - a national town hall meeting online and on Twitter. All Twitter reports 169,395 tweets were sent to #AskObama and the President added 23,000+ new followers yesterday.

In all, only 8 tweets were answered. Plenty of banter went down. We heard serious answers, humor and candor. The rapport between the Commander-in-Chief and Twitter's Chief Executive Jack Dempsey was geeky as could be expected from the former professor of constitutional law and creator of the premier social media network platform.

Huffpost Humor collected some of the funniest #AskObama tweets sent. Politicians and lobbying groups were present in the twitterstream. Capitol Hill's  Roll Call noted organized tweeting led by the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Community Health Centers, the group I represent.

I tweeted because it was the place to push a message forward right now. I am committed to doing what I can keep community health centers strong. In full disclosure, that is my job and I value it. Still, I have worked in the public sector and I know a good government-funded program when I see one. Community health centers were included in the nation's health care reform bill and strategy because they bring the best bang for the buck to the nation. For more than 40 years we've leveraged a federal grant into funding 8000 sites for health care services into communities to serve close to 30 million people across the USA. That's good stewardship. I want to support it.

I tweeted because I wanted to be part of this debut grassroots activity. I wanted my issue to be registered in among those hashtagged. I wanted to get retweeted.  The President built on his experience in grassroots organizing and social media from his (pre) 2008 election work and tapped a network of engaged activists on Wednesday. I expect to see more of this type of outreach. We know our President is progressive. In social media, he continues to blaze the trail.

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