He strongly believes the History Channel doesn’t have enough history, often types in unintelligible shorthand and occasionally communicates with a single character. It’s Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, on Twitter.
Late last week, Grassley opened up about his Twitter style — typos and all. The senior Senator from Iowa personally composes his tweets on his recently acquired iPhone. “I don’t use a computer. I rely on my Blackberry and now my iPhone for everything I need. The iPhone has been a little bit of a learning curve, but I’m starting to get the hang of it,” Grassley told the Legal Times.
Grassley has racked up more than 40,000 followers, and many of those followers like to re-tweet his fumbles. On March 3, Grassley tweeted “3,” which was re-tweeted 50+ times. On April 7, he tweeted “P” to the tune of 50+ re-tweets and favorites. Some of his tamer tweets — “Follow iowa legislation @patgrassley and c him right now at ackley fireman pancake bfast to ask him Qs,” for instance — only receive a handful of re-tweets. Twitter stops displaying the exact number of re-tweets beyond 50.
Grassley also made waves over the weekend when he called President Obama “stupid” on Twitter:
Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) April 7, 2012
That tweet, too, was re-tweeted more than 50 times.
The Legal Times’ Todd Ruger confronted Grassley about the attention some of his tweets receive:
@toddruger: Your tweets draw attention/criticism, often because they sometimes have random punctuation or capital letters. What is the story behind why you leave those in there? Do you pay attention to anyone’s reaction to your tweets?
@chuckgrassley: I think there are a couple of factors involved. I suppose a lot has to do with the automatic correcting done by my iPhone. Second, I love Tweeting, but I don’t like to type. So, I probably type and hit send a little too quickly.
Read the rest of the interview here.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com