The Perils of Social Media: Does Twitter Make Pols Risk-Averse?

The Bipartisan Policy Center on Wednesday held its annual political summit at Tulane University, and the topic was Twitter and other social media and what it is doing to campaigns.

Karen Hughes, top communications aide to President George W. Bush, said at the forum, per the TimesPicayune,”We didn’t have to worry about Twitter when I was in the White House. It used to be a 24/7 news cycle. Now it’s a 1440 news cycle. That’s how many minutes are in the day.”

“There’s not much time for strategic thinking. The value is on speed and reaction rather than proactive thinking.”

An even more telling comment came from former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, defeated in the state’s nominating caucus in 2010. He said that voter anger was exacerbated via social media, and “We didn’t now how to deal with it.”

Others suggested that the instantaneous nature of social media may be making politicians less willing to take risks.

Also attending were former MPAA chairman Dan Glickman, exec director of the congressional program at the Aspen Institute; Bipartisan Policy Center’s president, Jason Grumet; CNN’s James Carville and Mary Matalin, commentators John Avlon and Margaret Hoover, CNBC’s John Harwood, producer R.J. Cutler, Walter Isaacson, and former Sen. Trent Lott. A 20th anniversary screening of Cutler’s “The War Room” was shown last night.

More here.

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