The senior Senator from Iowa is giving up his signature style in favor of a more policy-oriented approach, in reaction to mean responses to his tweets, as BuzzFeed reported.
“A lot of time I get unpleasant [responses],” he told the website.
Even though the Senator will turn 80 later this year, he had done what few other Washington politicians dared to do: composed his own tweets. The result was comical, endearing and nigh indecipherable at times as Grassley tweeted sports scores, life observations and criticisms of The History Channel for showing unhistorical programming.
With more than 66,000 followers, Grassley’s approach seemed to be working, making the Iowan into a Twitter sensation. The Senator told BuzzFeed that he saw the social media site as a way to “encourage conversation” and promote “representative government.” Even Grassley’s co-workers noticed his unique use of the social media, jokingly calling him the “chief Twitterer of the Senate,” according to the Senator.
But some in the Twitter universe didn’t understand the Senator’s intentions and didn’t like his odd abbreviations.
“I think it’s a misunderstanding of what people thought my purpose was,” Grassley said. “And then, I was trying to abbreviate as much as I could, and I think people thought I didn’t know how to spell, so I try not to abbreviate as much anymore, unless it’s a kind of common abbreviation.”
While the Senator will still be writing his own tweets, the shift in focus from personal to policy is a big loss. Grassley is now just one more politician with a boring Twitter presence.
Shame on you, Twitter.
UPDATE: The reports of Grassley’s ‘Twitter death’ were greatly exaggerated, as the Des Moines Register reported. The Senator told reporters on a Wednesday morning conference call that he wasn’t done tweeting in his signature style.
“Oh, I haven’t changed anything,” he said. “I think they’re referring to some interview I gave, oh, FeedStuff or BuzzStuff or something like that.”
Grassley said he sometimes tweets five times a day, but other times doesn’t tweet for five days.
“Just wait a minute and I’ll say something very theatrical very soon so they’ll be wrong,” he added.
Here are some of Grassley’s greatest tweets. Enjoy.