“VP & Dr. B hope you take time to think about our troops & military families this Independence Day,” reads Biden’s only tweet so far. “Happy 4th from OVP!”
The Twitter feed is not VP Biden’s personal account, but rather that of the office of the vice president. This means a few things: First, its unlikely that Biden will be sending most of the tweets himself, so critics of Biden shouldn’t get their hopes up for any Anthony Weiner-like shenanigans. Second, direct messages and @ replies sent to the @VP account are subject to the Presidential Records Act, which means that your pithy 140 characters to the VP will be archived for President Obama’s presidential library. Considering all tweets are now searchable and viewable in the Library of Congress, however, that shouldn’t alarm anybody.
The launch of the vice presidential Twitter feed is part of the Obama administration’s widening embrace of social media in the run-up to the 2012 election. The Obama for America staff, which is in charge of the president’s re-election campaign, announced recently that it would be ramping up its activity on Obama’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, with some tweets written by the president himself.
Last week, the Obama campaign announced that President Obama will host a town-hall-style Q&A session on Wednesday, July 6. Anyone wishing to ask the president a question should post the query with the hashtag #askobama. Those interested can follow the @Townhall feed, which is dedicated to the event. The meeting will be broadcast live from the White House to a Twitter-hosted website.
This is not the first town hall that embraces social media, however. In April, Obama held a Q&A session at Facebook headquarters, and the event was broadcast exclusively over the social network.