Dispatch June 2009

The 30 Washington Insiders You Should Follow on Twitter

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1 – 5 of 30


Mike Allen
Blogger, Politico

Obsessions: White House press conferences, Beltway culture, new media

Typical Tweets:

breaking: Stephanie Cutter, counselor at Treasury, is moving over to the White House to coordinate the Court fight ("the Steve Schmidt job")

cairo speech (6:10 a.m. ET) about 40-45 minutes--POTUS still working on text--hope press will have embargoed copy "well before he gives it"

Number of heads of state hosted at White House: 8. Number of U.S. states visited: 12

Follow at: http://twitter.com/mikeallen


Marc Ambinder
Politics Editor, The Atlantic

Obsessions: National security policy, 2012 presidential race, WWF wrestling

Typical Tweets:

Will journos label T-Paw a "mod?" He can position himself that way, but on taxes, gays, guns, God, abortion, stem cells, he's conservative.

Sen. DeMint says he asked S'Smayor about rights of unborn child; says she said she "never thought about it." He's upset. WH denies.

Source: new CAFE standards will be similar to California's, which achieve 33% reduction in emissions by 2016....

Follow at: http://twitter.com/MarcAmbinder


Chris Cillizza
Blogger, Washington Post: "The Fix"

Obsessions: Johnny Cash, electoral politics, custom t-shirts

Typical Tweets:

Gibbs just gave a girlish chuckle. For the record, the Fix laughs like Eddie Murphy. Pot. kettle. Black.

Newt just dropped a Rahm Emanuel reference. Rahm is cursing somewhere.

Another coup for Obama political team: picking John McHugh as Army Sec opens up a VERY competitive NY congressional seat.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/TheFix


Ana Marie Cox
National Correspondent, Air America radio

Obsessions: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Robert Gibbs’ ties, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, her pants

Typical Tweets:

GIBBS TIE THREAT LEVEL: Pink and baby blue/We're gonna threaten terrorists WITH A HUG.

AH THE ANGRY LEPRECHAUN! He is TROUBLED! HE WANTS HIS GOLD. To be fair, Jeff Sessions could also be a younger, shorter, angrier Spock.

For those keeping track: Gibbs gave a one-word answer on repealing DADT in January: "yes." Last week, it took 105 words for him to say "no."

Follow at: http://twitter.com/anamariecox


John Dickerson
Chief Political Correspondent, Slate

Obsessions: national security politics, his kids, Beltway culture, road food

Typical Tweets:

Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of 8 to 1. Old smear: racist. New one: ineffective racist?

Cheney has gotta stop: Burst in to White House kitchen and interrupted chefs making vinaigrette dressing. Told them they were doing it wrong

Obama just called space shuttle astronauts who've repaired Hubble. Asked them to use its high power lens to find him a policy for Guantanamo

Follow at: http://twitter.com/Jdickerson


6 – 10 of 30


Patrick Gavin
Writer, Politico

Obsessions: His upcoming marriage, insider media business gossip

Typical Tweets:

Increasingly, I just dont see Obama going 8 years anti-gay marriage.Cheney's for it + WJC gave BHO an out by declaring an "evolved" position

self-pimp: Arne Duncan dishes on hoops with Obama

Huge news: Murdoch may sell Weekly Standard to DC Examiner owner Phil Anschutz

Follow at: http://twitter.com/PWGavin


Newt Gingrich
Former Speaker of the House

Obsessions: Lowering taxes, his new self-help book, restaurants in suburban Virginia

Typical Tweets:

The President is clearly trying to have some gop outreach with minimum change in his key policies The complexity will be fascinating

White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.

Plan now to actively work to defeat any member who raises taxes or refuses to cut spending 2010 could be a decisive year

Follow at: http://twitter.com/Newtgingrich


David Gregory
Host, Meet the Press, NBC

Obsessions: Obama’s foreign policy challenges, LA Dodgers, media objectivity

Typical Tweets:

NK and Iran. It’s interesting how dependent Obama is on China and Russia to solve these probs.

At a time when no one knows how to fix the economy, will the President maintain the public’s support even if some of his ideas fail?

By Al, of course i mean @alroker

Follow at: http://twitter.com/davidgregory


Israeli Consulate General of New York

Obsessions: Arab/Israeli peace, Iran, public diplomacy

Typical Tweets:

The gov't is acting against outposts built illegally. If there is evidence to the contrary, court system will adjudicate.

Hamas brings out the cavalry in brazen attack yesterday - @NYrker Key word is "yet." Combining nukes, disregard for life, and apocalyptic ideology (Pakistan, Iran, elsewhere)=calamitous

Follow at: http://twitter.com/israelconsulate


Mark Knoller
White House Correspondent, CBS News

Obsessions: President’s daily schedule, behind-the-scenes decision making, White House press conferences

Typical Tweets:

for those keeping score, the daily WH briefing 1st set for 130p, then 2p has just begun at 2:21pm. Running car companies is time consuming.

Worth noting: One of Obama’s first actions as president was to cap the pay of his top aides at $100k. Uncapped, they would earn $172, 000.

"Bar, what'd ya think?" the 41st pres called out to his wife on landing safely. "Where's my hero," she replied. What a hoot.

Follow at: http://www.twitter.com/markknoller


11 – 15 of 30


Howard Kurtz
Columnist, Washington Post

Obsessions: media trends, his hometown of Brooklyn

Typical Tweets:

It's getting to be torturous watching pundits yell at each other about torture. Maybe they should play some of these tapes for detainees

Newt may be succinct, but not sure Twitter is best forum to call a Supreme Court nominee racist. Attack her legal reasoning, but R word?

Work has interfered with tweeting all day. Thing about reporting is it takes time--phone calls, etc. Very old-fashioned.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/HowardKurtz


Rachel Maddow
Host, The Rachel Maddow Show, NBC

Obsessions: political dissent, cocktails, good web reporting

Typical Tweets:

Look at Obama's answer to question 10. This is the same guy now proposing "prolonged detention" without trial?

If the biggest jail in the US is a madness-inducing hellhole, maybe it should be shut down - and not just rebuilt bigger?

Prepping for tonight's presser, but thinking about Friday's expected announcement of Obama's plans for Afghanistan - - huge deal.

Follow at: http://m.twitter.com/maddow


John McCain
Senator from Arizona (Republican)

Obsessions: Earmarks, war movies, Arizona Diamondbacks

Typical Tweets:

Obama has more czars than the Romanovs - who ruled Russia for 3 centuries. Romanovs 18, cyberczar makes 20.

North Korean nuclear blast provocative and dangerous - sanctions and Chinese pressure absolutely necessary.

Admin claims 150,000 jobs "Saved or Created"-what about the 1.6 million American jobs lost & unemployment topping 9.4% since the "Stimulus"?

Follow at: http://twitter.com/SenJohnMccain


Meghan McCain
Daughter of Sen. John McCain

Obsessions: The GOP, shopping, gay marriage

Typical Tweets:

Why is Newt Gingrich on my news crawl this morning? Last time he was interesting I hadn't hit puberty yet...

I think its great Dick Cheney is speaking out about marriage equality however it would have been more effective when he was VICE PRESIDENT!

Worst pickup line ever: "I too love sex.....and the republican party"

Follow at: http://twitter.com/McCainblogette


Claire McCaskill
Senator from Missouri (Democrat)

Obsessions: Health care, St. Louis Cardinals, her local radio interviews

Typical Tweets:

Ok. I'm mad about these yahoos on Wall Street taking bonuses and trying to buy fancy jets on the taypayers dime

Limits of twitter are inability to get into complex policy decisions, can only skim the surface. But still great to start discussion

For new followers, meonlyme Imeanit onlyme types these tweets. No staffer allowed near my twitter. Fun cause no editing.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/clairecmc


16 – 20 of 30


Mike Memoli
Blogger, Real Clear Politics

Obsessions: Robert Gibbs, White House press conferences, NY Yankees

Typical Tweets:

Last Palin pt: She did well talking about gas line, should have cut off there, not answer Letterman stuff. But mama grizzly ...

Walking out WH, crowd of young kids ask me if I've met POTUS. Then grab my hand cause they want to touch hand that shook his. Cute

No coincidence that Gibbs, Axe, etc not traveling with POTUS, staying in DC. With SCOTUS pick, uber critical to win the early spin war

Follow at: http://twitter.com/mikememoli


Markos Moulitsas
Founder, Daily Kos

Obsessions: The GOP, local elections, re-Tweeting

Typical Tweets:

Cons think Twitter is their savior. I think Twitter is merely fun.

I can't wait for Franken to win again. His first three victories seemed somewhat lacking...

With some luck, we'll go next week without another right-wing terrorist attack.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/markosm


Mike Mullen
Chair, The Joint Chiefs of Staff

Obsessions: Veterans, war strategy, military affairs

Typical Tweets:

We will be smarter now in Afghanistan and more successful, in my view, not in spite of Iraq, but because of it.

I am troubled by the effects of PTS and TBI, these signature wounds of modern war, and the stigma that surrounds them. We must do better.

Testified to Senate Appropriations today. Stressed readiness against a wide array of threats. Must be able to win all wars, big and small.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/thejointstaff


Bill Nelson
Senator from Florida (Democrat)

Obsessions: The Everglades, the stimulus bill, alternative energy

Typical Tweets:

I can't believe some Florida lawmakers might actually be serious about allowing oil drilling within ten miles offshore.

White House tells me the president will fly all nine remaining shuttle missions - even if it means flying the shuttle an extra year.

Whoa, Arlen Specter is switching to Democratic Party after three decades in GOP

Follow at: http://twitter.com/senbillnelson


Karl Rove
Former Adviser to President Bush

Obsessions: Defending Bush administration, presidential trivia, his forthcoming book

Typical Tweets:

If Obama signs into law a "public option" as part of health-care reform we won't be able to undo the damage.

F&F [Fox and Friends] topic: Cheney "favorable" rating up 8% since leaving office according to CNN poll.

“Which U.S. President used to start his day at 5:00 AM with a 2 hour piano practice?”

Follow at: http://twitter.com/KarlRove


21 – 25 of 30


Patrick Ruffini
GOP strategist, political blogger

Obsessions: A resurgent GOP, online campaign strategies, polling data

Typical Tweets:

The right answer on Sunday shows if asked about if you prefer Cheney vs. Powell vs. Rush is self-transparently obvious: no answer & move on

Prediction: Buckleyite elite conservatism will make a comeback in the next few years

Every candidate who has done a Google network blast has won. Prop 8, Saxby, Scott Murphy, Deeds.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/PatrickRuffini


Barham Salih
Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

Obsessions: Forthcoming Iraqi elections, working out, picnics in his home district, Suleimani

Typical Tweets:

Early morning drive to Irbil for meeting with Pres Barzani. Elections are getting closer! I am heading our parliamentary list-so much to do!

I missed my exercise session:( Many meetings-sessions with disgruntled candidates-Visited a village outside city. Went to a funeral in Suli.

Long cabinet meeting! Good decision to allocate $0.5/barrel of oil to producing regions. Don't like meetings, but good chance to catch up.

Follow at: https://twitter.com/BarhamSalih


Scott Simon
Host, Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR

Obsessions: Soliciting interview questions, his daughters, NPR gossip, new movies

Typical Tweets:

Glad we're leading with California budget story, not obvious ordinary east coast Beltway lead that sometimes snaps into place automatically

PS to meeting Roxana [Saberi]. At one pt she borrowed my handkerchief to dab some expressions of emotion. Told her to keep it--the least I could do.

Bernard Kerik sent Tweet proclaiming innocence just before indicted in Fed Court today. I don't think I'd have that presence of mind . . .

Follow at: http://twitter.com/NPRScottSimon


George Stephanopoulos
Chief Washington Correspondent, ABC News

Obsessions: Obama’s plans for the economy, good reporting on the web, feedback from his viewers

Typical Tweets:

Senate source tells me that Souter told Harry Reid "several weeks ago" that he would be retiring this year. Wonder who else knew that early?

Just spoke with tearful Rep Jose Serrano, Like Sotomayor grew up in Bronx projects. For Latinos, this pick has force of Thurgood Marshall

Conservatives say "empathy" wrong criteria for Supreme Court Liberals want Obama to ignore GOP and appoint liberal force on Court..And you?

Follow at: http://twitter.com/GStephanopoulos


Jake Tapper
Senior White House Correspondent, ABC News

Obsessions: Gitmo detainee debate, movies, pols on Twitter who respond to questions

Typical Tweets:

GM CEO Henderson said company needs to make sure every new vehicle launch is an outstanding car or truck. Was that not the plan before?

Congress denied ABC News' request to film the House/Senate gyms that YOUR tax dollars pay for. Interesting.

The overarching lesson for the media from the war in Iraq is: What if they're wrong? That guides some of us currently in the WH press corps.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/jaketapper


26 – 30 of 30


Fred Thompson
Former Senator, actor

Obsessions: National security, attacking Obama, torture

Typical Tweet:

Am Bolton knew 1st.. Susan Rice ought 2 spend time w/ N Korean xperts & not doing vogue photo spread

My Advice to Pirates to be safe from USA's wrath: Take up safer activities like enriching uranium or firing missles over Japan

Even Dr. Seuss would not have bought the Obama spin on SOTO

Follow at: http://twitter.com/fredthompson


Joe Trippi
Democratic campaign specialist

Obsessions: Social networking, Democratic pols, campaigning

Typical Tweets:

In case you missed it yesterday, regarding claims of an Edwards "Doomsday" plot: Complete BS - fantasyland - not true.

OK, count to 60... While you were counting, 20 hrs of video was uploaded to YouTube. Thats > 86k full length films evry wk

Republican Party officially preparing to jump off cliff -- Doors tribute band to sing "This is the end..."

Follow at: http://twitter.com/joetrippi


Karen Tumulty
Writer, Time Magazine

Obsessions: Health care reform, tennis, CSPAN

Typical Tweets:

Does anyone else think that what the Cheneys are really after here is their own reality show?

Gotta quit reading overnight tweets before the morning papers. i'm becoming part of the problem.

@KagroX @jayackroyd Am told the reason Waxman went for weaker version of public plan was the pushback he was getting from his own Blue Dogs.

Follow at: http://twitter.com/kTumulty


Dave Weigel
Politics reporter, The Washington Independent

Obsessions: political humor, conspiracy theorists who believe Obama is not U.S. citizen, Newt Gingrich

Typical Tweets:

Listening to Rush label "white people" the "new, oppressed minority." Jon Huntsman bailed at the right time, I think.

FWIW, the Democrats had 54 Senate seats when they borked Bork. GOP's chances with Sotomayor are somewhat... diminished.

Why is Gingrich debating Dick Durbin on Meet the Press? Do all 40 Republican senators have the flu?

Follow at: http://twitter.com/daveweigel


West Wing Report
Anonymous: fast, accurate and unbiased coverage of President Obama direct from the White House press room.

Obsessions: Obama’s schedule, Obama’s statements, Obama’s poll numbers, Obama.

Typical Tweets:

Obama takes another page from Bush playbook: he's fighting the release of certain Bush-era documents detailing videotaped interrogations

President will announce that GM will emerge from chapter 11 reorg after 60-90 days. Chrysler is about to, reports say, after a month.

Obama presses the re-set button; a sweeping speech aimed at bridging a deep chasm - but laid out no formal proposals or plans

Follow at: http://twitter.com/westwingreport


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