The avatar in this article might not look like one from an official White House online presence, but it is. It’s the face of the new Director of Progressive Media & Online Response, Jesse Lee, who will be tweeting in an official capacity from @jesseclee44, in the hopes of providing rapid response for the Twitter community.
To be honest, when I first saw this account I thought I was being trolled. It’s not verified, and the avatar looks less-than-professional. Other White House accounts use logos and most politicians in the White House or not use some sort of professionally-lit head shot. But I’ve since been convinced that this is the real account of Jesse Lee, former new media coordinator and now Director of Progressive Media & Online Response for the White House.
A few clues to the veracity of the account: The White House (@whitehouse) retweeted Lee two days ago, and the Huffington Post received a memo from Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer confirming the newest addition to the White House’s online arsenal.
Still, I’d suggest to Lee that he change up his profile picture soon. It’s cute, and all, but acting in an official capacity for the White House requires some professionalism to be taken seriously.
Despite this, Lee has been pretty active in the two days he’s had his Twitter account. He first “turned it on” by powering up the “Twitter machine” that the White House gave him – which was apparently a Terminator-style metal skill. He’s tweeted about Obamacare, Obama traveling in Dublin, the tornado in Joplin and the Chrysler loan repayment.
However, if the comments on his first, rather eerie, twitpic are any indication, Lee’s isn’t the most popular of the government’s Twitter accounts.
TarPhd says, “Jesse, in case you haven’t noticed your becoming a liability not an asset. Pack it up and quit.”
OHrhino comments, “You’re using our tax dollars for what? Tell the Kremlin … err White House that we don’t like this and we’d like to come to Washington to talk about it in November 2012.”
And there’s plenty more like that. But… if you did a little clicking-through to these users on Twitter, you’d see that many were just created a few days ago, or hadn’t tweeted in about two years until their comments on Lee’s picture. Looks like you can’t escape dirty partisan politics, even on Twitter.
It will be interesting to watch Lee’s account, and see how he handles Twitterati on both sides of the aisle.