With few exceptions, the endless social media generated by the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaigns amounts to little more than a never-ending stream of hash-tags mixed in with a few photos from breakfasts in small towns that you didn’t attend. Occasionally, the tedium is broken, when, as if on cue, each and every candidate simultaneously tweets “Go Pats.”
The race’s Republican frontrunner is also the frontrunner in gubernatorial campaign Twitter.
Charlie Baker “gets” Twitter.
With very few exceptions, he writes his own tweets.
He even responds to tweets. Himself!
Follow Baker on Twitter, and you will actually get the sense that he is a real human being.
For example, a recent tweet from Baker showed a photograph of his car’s temperature gauge. (This is actually a thing. People on Twitter really like to discuss the weather, and the temperature.)
26 degrees! Balmy! Pass the suntan lotion! pic.twitter.com/2b59fvgWCT— Charlie Baker (@CharlieForGov) January 25, 2014
But the photo also showed the vehicle’s odometer, and we learned that Baker drives a car with more than 137,000 miles on it. Finally, a way to show you’re a ‘regular guy’ without a 30-second ad spot! (The car in question? A 2007 Chrysler 300 that landed in the shop for repairs within a day or so of Baker’s tweet, according to a campaign spokesman.)
Tim Buckley, Baker’s communications director, explained that 95% of the Baker campaign’s tweets come from the candidate himself.
“Early on, we thought about taking Twitter off of his phone. Pocket tweets can happen. He wouldn’t even have any of it. He really values being able to interact with supporters on social media, and he never once even entertained the idea of not having Facebook and Twitter on his own phone 24/7. He loves it,” Buckley said.
People often complain that the problem with many candidates is the fact that their personalities never come through. Consultants and advisors are blamed for hiding the ‘regular guy’ (or gal) from the public. (Can you picture John Kerry tweeting a photo of his odometer? Or even driving his own car? Exactly.)
Pending an embarrassing pocket tweet, Baker’s handlers seem to be okay letting their candidate tweet with abandon. And so far, the race is better for it.
This story initially incorrectly referred to Charlie Baker as the lone Republican. Mark Fisheris also running for governor as a Republican.