The PJ Tatler

As Middle East Melts Down, @BarackObama Tweets About Jay-Z, High Fives and Mitt Romney's Tax Returns

Like nearly all political figures in the social media era, President Barack Obama has an official Twitter feed. Like most of these political feeds, Obama’s is mostly run by staff. The president does occasionally tweet directly to that feed, and when he does, he signs his tweets “-bo.”

In the days since Islamists turned the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States into a new crisis, the @BarackObama twitter feed has not included a single tweet personally signed by the president. The closest the feed gets to a personal message regarding the attacks in Libya and Egypt is this one, which is a retweet from the official White House twitter feed.

@BarackObama’s next tweet singled out an Obama campaign worker who is registering voters. The one after that touted a campaign smartphone app.

The political tweets from @BarackObama went uninterrupted until the feed retweeted this tweet, from Vice President Joe Biden’s feed. In the hours prior to that tweet, @BarackObama had confined itself to quoting the president’s political rhetoric from the stump.

@BarackObama followed that tweet with a pitch for campaign donations, and a raffle to meet a pair of pop stars who support the president.

After retweeting a thank-you from First Lady Michelle Obama to the city of Charlotte, NC, @BarackObama started attacking Mitt Romney. These tweets are displayed in reverse chronological order.

The “Romney should come clean” tweet is timestamped 3:25 PM on September 13, 2012. The attacks in the Middle East had at that point been progressing for two days, yet the @BarackObama twitter feed had barely acknowledged them. It had not directly acknowledged the deaths of the four Americans killed in Libya, nor had it mentioned the attack on the US embassy in Cairo, which resulted in the American flag’s desecration and its replacement by the black flag of Islam.

After another raffle tweet, @BarackObama noted the political implications of his race and his birth state of Hawaii.

@BarackObama high-fived a boy in one of his campaign audiences. He followed that, at 8:00 PM on September 13, with yet another tweet about Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

As of this writing, that is the most recent @BarackObama tweet. Beyoncé and Jay-Z have rated three tweets, Mitt Romney’s tax returns have rated three tweets, and the president’s campaign rhetoric have rated a handful of tweets. The unfolding crisis in the Middle East has not been clearly and directly addressed at all.