Governor Twitter, President Pawlenty?

In the midst of all this budget deficit business, this message popped into the Twitter search for ‘deficit’:

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“Interesting,” I thought. I hadn’t seen anything about the governor using the short-message service. You, the sharp News Cut reader, need no hint about the significance of 2012. I sort of dismissed the number; we all remember what it was like to have myname1998@hotmail.com accounts, right?

Then I read this Twitterer’s bio:

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It had to be a fake. Then things… disappeared.

Shortly after receiving an e-mail from Twitter telling me that TimPawlenty2012 was now following me, the account ceased to be. Grab your tinfoil hat.

If this was someone purporting to be Tim Pawlenty, it’s highly unlikely that Twitter closed down the account. Support requests are notoriously slow, and fake Twitter personalities exist for many high-profile people. If you’re creating a fake Tim Pawlenty, you’re likely doing it for the exposure, not to cultivate two dozen followers and close up shop.

The messages are a typical slice of what you might expect out of a communications lackey — success stories, challenge-tackling and politically conscious messages of bipartisanship. If this someone really was Pawlenty, and Pawlenty really was a “potential presidential candidate,” it would make sense to test drive a few Web 2.0 tools before ramping up a campaign, especially when the political posturing for potential President 45 has already begun.

Click on the image below to see the full feed, minus one status.

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While we can probably assume the account wasn’t actually being staffed by Tim Pawlenty himself, if it was someone within the governor’s office or political circle, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that this person would have inside knowledge of Pawlenty’s political aspirations.

Of course, none of this is really new, but it is news if it’s straight from the horse’s Twitter.

What do you think, Twitter users? Real or fake?

I’m waiting on a call back from Pawlenty’s communications people.

5:07 p.m.: Pawlenty Communications Director Brian McClung responds via email.

Than -

No. Our office is not associated with any such Twitter account.

8:30 p.m.: Twitter Pawlenty wasn’t disappeared after all. The account has been moved to twitter.com/TimPawlentyMN. The question remains. Who’s office is associated with the Twitter account?

I’m waiting on a message back from TimPawlentyMN.

The person behind the account says he/she is “just someone from Minnesota giving updates on behalf of Tim Pawlenty.” Mystery solved then, I guess. At least it was a fun distraction from the budget news.

  • http://erikhare.wordpress.com/ Erik Hare

    Fake.

    If he was the real Tim, he’d be drinking up your attention, not running from it.

  • Jennifer

    Fake and here’s why: I can guarantee you that Tim Pawlenty is not tech-savvy enough to make a “tinyURL” to post to a twitter feed.

  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/news_cut/ Than Tibbetts

    @Jennifer, Tim’s technological aptitude notwithstanding, Twitter coverts web addresses that are longer than 30 characters to TinyURL addresses automatically.

  • bigalmn

    Real

    I am guessing someone was playing around with this and thought only a few insiders would see it. Bob now that you have it everyone will. No different than Palin saying if God tells her to she will run in 2012.

    Oh! maybe God did it.

  • Bonnie

    Jennifer, amazingly twitter makes the tiny urls FOR you, it’s pretty cool and automatic.

    Maybe we’ll end up with battling Pawlenty tweeters!

    Can’t tell me some phone calls weren’t made…

    But here’s my beef:

    This continuing partisanship is so discouraging. Just listened to minority leader Seifert spewing partisan on the budget, i.e. ” I won’t be voting for any of it”. Hoping dems will hang themselves with budget cuts next time voting rolls around. We don’t need partisanship, we don’t need a campaigning governor, we need brave leaders who put MN best interests first!

  • TC

    OMG, What a nightmare to wake up November 7th 2012 and find that our absentee governor whose mandate to govern Minnesota included a landslide 20,000 vote win in his last race because Judy Dutcher didn’t know what E85 was. Now there’s a convoluted chain of events not unlike Sarah Palin’s rise to ‘fame’. Ask anyone at Wizmo where Palenty was ‘vice president of looking out the window’ and no one will remember him or what he did. What a phoney this flim flam man is.