This brilliance was tweeted by the official account of the National Republican Senate Committee:
The “Obama Girl” reference, in case you forgot, was a YouTube video shot during the 2008 primary, that featured a gorgeous young woman who had a crush on Obama. The above tweet was also retweeted by McConnell’s political director, implying that the tweet had some level of endorsement.
As for the link in the tweet: it went to a story for the “Bluegrass Bulletin” that said that Alison Lundergan Grimes (likely Democratic nominee for Senate in Kentucky) was the new Obama Girl because she attended a fundraiser for the NRSC’s counterpart, the National Democratic Senate Committee. It also featured this badly photoshopped picture (that’s Lundergan Grimes’ face):
The Grimes campaign called the tweet a “sexualized attack.” The NRSC, to their credit, acknowledged that the tweet was inappropriate:
Reached for comment, a spokesperson for the NRSC agreed the tweet was “extremely offensive” and said the group plans to delete it.
“It was a mistake made by a junior staffer and disciplinary action has been taken,” said press secretary Brook Hougesen. “We took corrective action as soon as it was brought to our attention and have taken steps to ensure it will never happen again.”
The tweet has since been deleted.
A few lessons from this episode:
1) What the heck were they thinking: Seriously. Who on earth thought tweeting out such blatantly sexist content was a good idea.
2) Training: Let’s say, for a minute, that it was a “junior staffer” who tweeted this idiocy. Clearly, the NRSC’s Social Media policies are off. As anyone in politics knows, you have to be extra careful with what you say to make sure that you don’t leave yourself open to allegations of sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. The NRSC missed that one with this tweet! They should have a “no-no” list of content that should never, ever be tweeted. Anything that smells of sexism should be on there. More to the point, the junior staffer who supposedly tweeted this should have been better trained. Social Media policies are great and necessary, but all Social Media Manager’s should be able to think of their feet.
3) Check your links: One of my favorite twitter mistakes happened in 2010, when a staffer for Meg Whitman’s campaign (Whitman was the Republican nominee for Governor in California) tried to tweet out a link to a story that showed Whitman getting an endorsement from the San Diego Deputy Sheriffs. But the link was bad and took viewers to a YouTube video featured a cross-dressing Korean bass player. Oh dear. Clearly, the Whitman staffer involved didn’t double check her content. Neither did the NRSC here. My honest guess is that the NRSC was just trying to link Lundergand Grimes to Obama, something that is sure to be effective in deep-red Kentucky. What I bet happened is they missed the picture. The moral here is that Social Media managers always have to double check their content.
Any thoughts you want to add? Let us know in the comments!