Why Jake Tapper Chose Twitter over Facebook to Lure Sarah Palin to ‘This Week’

By Gail Shister Comment

tapper-Palin-twitter.jpgThe Facebook campaign to land 88-year-old Betty White a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” was a success, but the jury’s still out on Twitter, Jake Tapper and Sarah Palin.

With all Big 3 Sunday-morning political talk shows striking out in their attempts to land Gov. Palin the old-fashioned way — phone, email, flowers, chocolates, snowmobiles, escorts — ABC’s Tapper is on a Twitter campaign to woo Palin as a guest.

Tapper, interim host of “This Week” and a well-known Twitter fiend, became a disciple in April 2009 and has more than 51,000 followers. He says he tweets “a few dozen” times a day.

Thus far, Tapper’s had no response from Palin’s people to his 12 or so tweets, which go directly to her, he says. He has heard from numerous Palin supporters, however, who back Tapper’s play and have tweeted that sentiment to her.

The Twitter crusade is a first for Tapper, he says.

Palin “is so plugged into the internet, and seems to care a lot about her followers and supporters, so I thought it was worth a shot,” he says via email. “I have no idea how long I’ll stay with it. I didn’t plan it or discuss it with anyone.

“It just kind of happened, like so much on Twitter.”

The big question, of course, is why White House ace Tapper would go to such lengths to entice Palin, who happens to be under a reported $1 million contract to Fox News as a contributor.

“Why not?,” he replies. “She was the 2008 Republican party vice presidential nominee, she has a following, she wrote a best-selling book, and a lot of people care about her views. I don’t know how many times we’ve reached out to her [by phone and email], but it’s more than a few.”

Unlike her running mate, Sen. John McCain, Palin avoided the Sunday circuit during the campaign. Her first appearance was in February, on Chris Wallace’s “Fox News Sunday.”

Tapper promises Palin “a fair forum” in which she can reach a wider audience than her conservative base. As for her Fox deal, he says he believes that the network “can give her permission to appear on another show if she asks, but you’d have to ask them.”

We did. They did not respond.

Meanwhile, Tapper continues on the hunt. “We’re always looking for interesting guests,” he explains. “So far this year I’ve interviewed President Obama, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Gen. Colin Powell, Vice President Biden, Alan Greenspan.”

One more thing, Jake. Why Twitter and not Facebook?

Facebook, he says, “is so 2008.”