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What Can Senator Joe Manchin Teach Us About Social Media?

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Despite being a political junkie, I am very hesitant to bring up anything related to politics when it comes to BlogWorld. However while geeking out on memeorandum tonight (Techmeme’s sister site for politics) I came across a story that I think emphasizes one of the great opportunities social media brings to all of us.

Senator Manchin took a lot of well deserved heat when he failed to show up for two major controversial votes this past weekend. His initial reply about having a prior commitment (a Christmas party) sounded like the typical weasel politician trying to avoid accountability and allowing himself to agree with whatever the popular position of the time was when the next election rolled around.

Then he did something different. He sent out two press releases declaring his position on each bill. And he gave an interview explaining exactly why he missed these votes (Audio Here)  and here is the story in the local paper including quotes from the interview.

So what can this incident and Senator Manchin’s reaction to it teach us about social media?

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