Facebook, Twitter and a re-launched website. Those are the tools Sarah Palin is relying on to get her name back in the 2012 presidential headlines. Which begs the question: can a political candidate regain her political mojo through social media alone?
She’s a political firebrand not used to sitting on the political, or media, sidelines. So as 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has recently found herself out-‘Trumped’ in the headlines by other Republican 2012 presidential hopefuls, she is pushing back.
And how? Social media.
She started a brand-new Web site Tuesday with features that allow supporters to easily donate to her political action committee or invite her to speak at an event.
And now that she’s back on the road for such events, she’s promoting them through…social media.
Palin didn’t just deliver her Tea Party speech in Madison, Wisconsin, last weekend in person, she gave it a virtual boost.
Palin took to Facebook and posted a full video and text of the remarks, while her prolific cyber-aide Rebecca Mansour took to her Twitter feed to promote the speech both before and after it took place.
It’s an understatement to say that the former governor of Alaska and 2008 vice-presidential candidate has made her mark, and cultivated her following, via social media.
Palin has always stood out among politicians on the Web, routinely posting messages to her nearly 3 million ‘fans’ on Facebook in order to bypass what she has labeled the “lamestream” media.
But Palin had so far been relatively quiet recently when it came to the 2012 White House race, failing to respond via Facebook or Twitter to Obama’s reelection announcement, as her potential competitors including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty quickly did.
That appears to be over now.
While several likely Republican 2012 presidential contenders asserted themselves on social media in recent weeks – former Gov. Tim Pawlenty made his presidential announcement in a Facebook video; Herman Cain posted a statement to his website; and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced his presidential intent on Twitter and YouTube – where was team Palin?
Making a dig…on Twitter.
A Tweet last week from prolific Palin aide Rebecca Mansour used only 22 characters to hit back hard: “I remember when people mocked a certain former governor for using Facebook to post policy statements. Now everyone is doing it. #rogueleader.”
And the activity from Mansour raises another interesting benefit, depending on one’s perspective, of social media for Palin: allowing your loyal aides to speak out for you, often in feisty terms, providing a type of “virtual cover.”
Just this week Mansour dispatched a series of critical tweets to the major broadcast and cable networks, and individual reporters like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, criticizing their lack of coverage of Palin’s Wisconsin speech.
And when Slate’s Dave Weigel wrote about Mansour’s tweets, the Palin aide quickly fired back:
@daveweigel my tweets are my own, and it’s ridiculous to waste five minutes on a news story about a lark last night.
While Palin told FOX News talk show host Sean Hannitty in an interview Wednesday that an exploratory committee “isn’t even on the radar,” she also promised that, “it’s going to be an unconventional run if I do chose to do that.”
Tell us what you think. Now that “everyone is doing it,” is social media enough to get Sarah Palin back in the headlines? Is the use of social media in politics even “unconventional” anymore?