Those running President Barack Obama's Twitter account were busy Friday, encouraging millions of the social medium's users to contact Republican representatives in Congress, including those who represent the Brazos Valley.
As part of an all-day effort, tweets were sent from @BarackObama. The dozens of messages noted the accounts of Republicans on Twitter. The president's 9,000,000-plus followers were encouraged to contact those GOP leaders and ask them to reach a compromise to raise the nation's debt ceiling and cut spending.
An August 2 deadline looms to raise the debt ceiling. Major national and global economic ramifications are being predicted if the nation defaults.
About 5 p.m. Friday, after working through the states alphabetically, @BarackObama reached Texas and began with the senators.
The president's account then proceeded to tweet out accounts of Texas' representatives, including local Congressmen Bill Flores, Kevin Brady, Joe Barton and Michael McCaul. District 31 Representative John Carter, a staunch critic of the White House, was not noted by the Obama account despite being on Twitter.
Shortly thereafter, Flores offered responses through his @RepFlores account.
The first: "Thanks @BarackObama for all the new Twitter followers. We tried to search for your debt limit plan & found this." The tweet then provided a link to a search for the term "debt limit plan" on the White House's official website which yielded no results.
The District 17 representative from Bryan has been critical of the president for not submitting a plan on the issue. Flores voted in favor of the bill put forth by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and approved by the House late this week. It was shot down by the Democratic-controlled Senate soon after.
"Thank you all for the encouraging calls and messages," a second tweet from Flores' account Friday read. "You can also share your views with the @WhiteHouse at (202) 456-1414."
@BarackObama is the account run by the president's reelection campaign, as opposed to @WhiteHouse, which is run at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
With President Obama's calls throughout the week for Americans to contact their elected officials and ask for compromise, reports came from Capitol Hill of jammed phone lines and e-mailboxes. While the online effort Friday generated buzz and calls for compromise, a Twitter backlash from the @BarackObama tweets also seemed to reach those running the account as many tweeted their displeasure with being flooded with tweets.
"Thanks for contacting your legislators, and for sticking with us amid our tweeting today," one message from @BarackObama read at the end of the tweet-fest. "We're done now, we swear."
According to the tracking website TwitterCounter, @BarackObama suffered a net loss of more than 33,000 followers, a dramatic change for an account that has gained tens of thousands of followers daily for the entirety of its existence. However, the loss reflected a fraction of a percent of the president's total followers, and as of Saturday morning, he was already gaining followers again. The account is one of the most followed in the world.
Flores saw minimal gains in followers, according to TwitterCounter. He cracked the 1,800-follower mark Friday. Tracking showed his gains Friday were in line with his usual daily gains, though dozens retweeted his responses to the president.