The Democratic leaders in Congress on Wednesday will lose their titles, big offices, power, as well as their Twitter user names.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, continues to use her Twitter user name @SpeakerPelosi in her waning days as Speaker of the House.
“Pelosi continues to be in a state of denial that Democrats were rebuked on election day and sent back to the minority,” emailed a GOP aide. “Twitter would happily and easily change the name for them (they can, in fact, change it themselves if they wanted to)—so, the fact that they are still tweeting from that is a deliberate choice.”
As recently as January 1, @SpeakerPelosi tweeted to her 30,050 followers: “Warm wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!” Pelosi will be the Minority Leader when the Republicans take control of the House.
Pelosi’s office did not return calls for comment by press time.
UPDATE: Pelosi’s office responded at 8:30 p.m. on Monday. “Of course Speaker Pelosi will be changing her Twitter account – stay tuned for a change tomorrow evening!” emailed Pelosi’s Communications Director Nadeam Elshami.
The House GOP leaders are all switching their Twitter accounts midday on Wednesday, after they officially take control of the House of Representatives. The Republicans coordinated passing around their user names.
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was the Minority Leader and will be the Speaker of the House. Boehner is still tweeting to his 69,649 followers from user name @GOPLeader.
The new Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), however, will take over Boehner’s username @GOPLeader on Wendesday. Boehner’s office would not say what his new user name would be after he gives his current one to Cantor.
“We do plan to update our Twitter handle, given the Speaker-designate’s new office, but we don’t have any announcement to make at this time,” emailed Boehner’s Press Secretary Michael Steel.
The twitter account @SpeakerBoehner is registered as “John Boehner”, but it is unclear if he controls this locked account. The Twitter account @JohnBoehner is registered to his campaign.
Cantor has 22,617 followers on Twitter. He also created a new Twitter account @CantorPress for press and scheduling related items. The account @EricCantor is for his campaign.
Cantor’s Chief Deputy Whip, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will take over both the Majority Whip’s job and Twitter user name @GOPWhip. McCarthy has 5,712 followers on Twitter. He also tweets from his campaign’s account @KevinOMcCarthy.
McCarthy’s current user name @ChiefDeputyWhip will likely be passed to the new Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).
Unlike the GOP well-oiled Twitter switches, the Democrats are not coordinating their new user names.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who will go from Majority Leader to Minority Whip in the new Congress. He will change his Twitter user name @LeaderHoyer to reflect his new position.
“We will changing to @WhipHoyer tomorrow night, before the new Congress is sworn-in,” Hoyer’s spokeswoman told HUMAN EVENTS on Monday.
Hoyer’s last Tweet to his 4,728 Twitter followers was on December 29: “Congratulations to the MD Terps and Coach Ralph Friedgen for their 51-20 victory at the Military Bowl today. Go Terps!”
As Majority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) tweeted from user name @WhipClyburn. Pelosi created a new leadership position for Clyburn—”Assistant Leader”—so that he would stay on as third-ranking in the Democratic leadership.
“We are in the midst of changing it over,” Clyburn’s spokeswoman told HUMAN EVENTS. “We’ll announce the new Twitter account in the coming days.”
Although Twitter was founded in 2006 before the last time the House of Representatives switched party control, it was not a powerful social media tool for politicians until this election cycle.
The confusion with the Twitter user names seems to come from the political leaders of both parties picking user names based on their current titles, without considering a switch needed for future changes.
The politicians do not lose any “followers” on Twitter when they change the account’s user name.
“Changing your name(s) is easy!” says Twitter’s website, “Changing your user name will not affect your existing followers, direct messages, or @replies. They will simply see a new user name next to your picture when you update.”
You can follow me on Twitter @EmilyMillerDC for the latest updates on Twitter switches and the new Congress.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter