Time for a busy roundup of the most notable deletions from U.S. politicians over the course of the past week. They include a number of deleted tweets likely attributable to staffers, a couple related to the Olympics and the first deletion on Politwoops from @BarackObama in almost a year.
Early yesterday morning, in the midst of a winter storm in the D.C. region, the official account for Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., tweeted: “Just a matter of time: waiting for the @VA_GOP to claim this winter storm was caused by The Affordable Care Act. #Snowbamacare.” After just 26 seconds, the tweet was deleted and archived by Politwoops and another tweet with an apology appeared on his feed: “Oops. Staff #fail on a snow day. Removed as quickly as possible. Enjoy the rest of your snow day.” The reaction on Twitter came immediately as Republican spokespeople such as the Michael Short of the RNC tweeted “Shameful: This winter storm has been deadly but @MarkWarner used it to make a partisan attack on Republicans” and “@MarkWarner you guys do realize deleted tweets are archived by the Sunlight Foundation? It’s there forever.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee tweeted the image to the left of the sidewalk outside Sen. Warner’s home with the message, “Hey Sen. @MarkWarner, less tweeting offensive jokes & a little more shoveling would be appreciated by your neighbors.” In the 24 hours since the deletion, the Politwoops page archiving the message has over 100 tweets and while the Washington Post called it “pretty tame stuff,” others labeled it “callous,” “nasty,” “embarrassingly stupid” and “disgusting.” The kerfuffle was covered with citations of the archived tweet on Politwoops by The Hill, Talking Points Memo, Fox News, National Review, Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, Mediaite, Breitbart and many others. In an email to Politico, the communications director for Sen. Warner took responsibility by saying, “It was my mistake. I acknowledged it as quickly as possible, and I apologize.”
Speaking of deletions from official accounts that likely came from staffers, Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, deleted a tweet that read, “you’re welcome, dc #lylas #bottomlessqueen RT Best Washington, D.C. Brunch Drink Specials http://t.co/tFtnr1QSqm via @drinkdc.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, deleted a tweet after 34 minutes that revealed how she was spending her day in Congress, “The @Olympics are always so fun. I am getting excited to watch some @USOlympic men’s hockey this afternoon between votes. #Sochi” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., joined the Olympic cheer and deleted a tweet that said, “Congratulations to @ErinHamlin of Remsen, NY, who just won a gold in the Luge at #Sochi2014! #TeamUSA.” After 20 minutes, the tweet was removed from his official account and replaced with this one, correctly noting Erin Hamlin’s bronze medal.
President Barack Obama, who has a very carefully maintained Twitter account, had a rare deletion this week that said, “There are many ways to get involved in the fight to #CoverAmerica. Read how Jeannette’s making a difference: http://t.co/APXXsj8tYO.” The tweet was removed after just 7 seconds and links to this page on the Organizing for Action site from November 26, 2013. There is no other mention of Jeannette from this Twitter account and this marks the first deletion for Barack Obama on Politwoops since March 8, 2013.
Earlier in the week, Governor Tom Corbett, R-Pa., deleted a tweet with an errant link to some inappropriate content. In an article in the Philadelphia Weekly, Valerie Caras, Gov. Corbett’s deputy director of communications, explained that “The way that we work is, you put in your URL, and then you shorten it. When that tweet was posted, we just copied it incorrectly, so the last two characters were not copied, and it went to a link that we had zero intention of tweeting out.”
The latest additions to Politwoops include Angel Taveras, a Democrat running for Governor in Rhode Island, and Katrina Pierson, a Republican running for Congress in Texas. As always, drop us a note if you realize there are any candidates or politicians we’re missing from Politwoops!