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Topics: House of Representatives

Darrell Issa is winning the Internets

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Photo - U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa speaks at a post-hearing press conference in the Rayburn Office Building earlier this year. (Photo: Issa Instagram account)
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa speaks at a post-hearing press conference in the Rayburn Office Building earlier this year. (Photo: Issa Instagram account)
Politics,Beltway Confidential,Congress,House of Representatives,Darrell Issa,Ashe Schow

Cats. Mustaches. 'Merica. Need I say more?

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has figured out how to use social media probably better than anyone else in Congress.

Instagram

Let's start with Instagram because this is where Issa really shines. Every Friday, Issa posts a #FridayKitty, because as we all know, the Internet is a series of tubes, and running through those tubes are cats. Millions and billions and trillions of cats. Issa understands this, and posts pictures like this:

Look at that widdle face!

And this:



I need to teach my cats to take selfies, too.
 

Oh, and this one:

Don't hate me because I'm fabulous

Cats not your thing? What about mustaches? Because Issa's got you covered on that front as well, with his "Throwback Thursday" posts:

This should be the default Internet dating profile picture

Or this one:


“I’m just waiting for this decade to end.”
 

Issa's even tapped into the 'Merica movement:

'Merica

Dog 'Merica


Meat 'Merica

Because, what's Instagram without pictures of food?

Issa also Instagrams serious things too, like important meetings on Capitol Hill:

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee-ureaucrat

And this meeting with a representative from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals:

"I'm just lobbying for bone deductions"

When asked why he's on Instagram, Issa said, "Instagram was immediately one of those social networks we knew would pair perfectly with a Congress growing more visual and more mobile by the day. Focusing just on sharing photos is helping members pivot towards adding a more personal touch to posts that's been missing from a lot of official social media.

"Instagram really lets my followers, in a digital sense, see what I'm seeing and that's an opportunity that's never existed before."

Facebook

Issa has more than 40,000 Facebook followers, and provides them with some of the great photos from his Instagram account, but also notable news items like the one-year anniversary of Curiosity's landing on Mars (he included a link to a 2-minute video of the rover's journey). Issa provides interesting tidbits on Facebook that get people talking.

Issa also gets serious on Facebook, posting photos of the vote totals for important bills and providing commentary on what he's doing in Congress. And of course, cat pictures.

Could use more interaction, though, just saying.

Twitter

Issa tweets throughout the day, and his new Twitter profile pic is that glorious mustache picture from Instagram. He retweets, he responds, he points out interesting factoids like "64 years ago today, the NBA was born."

He does all the things a congressman should do when using social media. He lets people know what he's doing (from the first person, none of that obviously-a-staffer-speaking for Issa) and where he'll be speaking. He's been updating everyone about his Benghazi investigation through the medium as well.

Reddit

I saved this for last because, while Issa dared to venture into the Reddit community by hosting an Ask Me Anything (essentially a Reddit town hall), he was a bit unprepared for how the community would treat a Republican. But the fact that he even knows what Reddit is (and recognizes its potential) is a huge win for the Right.

Other congressmen need to learn from his example and start exploring the community and know their issues well enough to push back against Internet trolls. Issa clearly knew the issue he went to discuss, Internet privacy, but wasn't prepared for the anti-Republican questions the community threw at him. However, he did respond in kind to one such question.

Issa also posts links to Reddit, something others on the Right need to do. However, he only posts links to his own stuff, which is kind of a Reddit no-no.

Obviously Issa has help in his office, but the social media strategy they have put together requires the congressman to actively participate - and it shows.

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