The Week on Politwoops: a couple of turkeys, a farewell to Elizabeth Lauten and much more

A deleted photo from the official account of Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., showing him smiling with his wife and two turkeys.
Deleted photo via Politwoops.

This week’s roundup is a long overdue collection of some notable deletions caught recently by our Politwoops project. We start with the curious removal of a celebratory Thanksgiving tweet from Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., after it was up for 50 minutes. The deletion now archived by Politwoops said, “Ready for dinner in the Snyder house! From our family to yours, have a great Thanksgiving!” and included the smiling governor presiding over two cooked birds. It’s unclear why this tweet was removed and it now stands in stark contrast to the tepid replacement video message.

The name Elizabeth Lauten was not familiar to many before her remarks about the Obama children led to her resignation earlier this week, but those of us obsessively tracking Politwoops (there are dozens of us!) knew her all too well. The staffer for Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., caused many raised eyebrows and hearty laughs in the Sunlight office as we watched his official account tweet and then delete rather unusual things. There was the time his account deleted one saying “Fancy H2O whilst cooking and watching tv this morning. #water #fruit” or the one saying “Brekkie in progress. #instafood #cooking #breakfast #brekkie #latergramFollow.” These common account mixup errors entertained us and, dare I say, educated us, such as the time I was introduced to a dance style when Fincher seemed to tweet “God I love this song. And beach music. AND shagging.” In an initial interview about the mixup, Lauten blamed “a staffer” and then later confessed in Politico to being that staffer, saying “Shagging is dancing to me, and it was no big deal being a North Carolina girl.” We will miss these daft, erroneous tweets from Fincher’s account and hope the new captain of the social ship steers us to such fertile lands of comedy.

A response from Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., about a comment on a deleted tweet captured by Politwoops.
Image via Twitter.

On a more positive outcome, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Penn., deleted a tweet that said “Obamacare “@politico: #Breaking: The House voted today to renew a set of about 50 corporate and individual tax breaks. More details soon.” and then changed it to another (more relevant) news item saying “Obamacare / Health spending grows at lowest rate in over 50 years in 2013.” When I pointed out the change on Twitter, Fattah quickly responded “You are right. CF” with an inexplicable photo of him on a bike seen to the left. Sure, why not.

As the results from the election rolled in, the account for possible 2016 presidential contender Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., quickly deleted a retweet of a reporter mentioning the crowd cheering “for him to run for president.” As Veterans Day approached, the official Twitter account for Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., took to retweeting anyone who sent photos of vets to his account. This overenthusiastic tweeting led to retweets of pranksters who shared images of well-known murderers who also served in uniform. Issa’s account did not do close screening of their retweets and went back later to delete images they initially shared of Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and even Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler.

The media continues to utilize Politwoops as a resource, and recent media mentions include the New York Times (twice), Washington Post (twice), Christian Science Monitor, The State, San Diego Free Press, FireDogLake, Daily Banter and Twitchy.

Enjoy the weekend, and if you have a spare moment, please let me know if there are accounts we’re missing or any accounts we should remove. Thanks!