Top 10 Embarrassing Twitter Gaffes by Politicians

Kim Conte
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anthony weinerA representative from Twitter e-mailed some basic tips about using the social media website to congressional offices Tuesday, including information about how to keep accounts secure. Apparently, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) -- who was involved in a Twitter scandal last week involving a lewd crotch photo -- isn't the only Congressperson worried about protecting their account.

In fact, Weiner is far from being the only politician who's been involved (either intentionally or unintentionally) in some sort of embarrassing situation involving Twitter. Here are nine other gaffes by politicians in 140 characters or less:

1. In 2009, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger perplexed all of his followers when he posted a video message to his Twitter page in which he wielded a huge knife and spoke about selling state cars signed by the "celebrity governor" -- Huh? His press secretary could provide little insight into the confusing video:

I don't know why he is holding a knife. The message is in what he is saying, not what he is holding in his hand.

 

2. Over-share much? Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has been criticized for using her Twitter account to talk about her weight:

Tired of looking and feeling fat. Maybe talking about it publicly will keep me on track as I try to be more disciplined. Off to the gym.

 

3. And speaking of over-sharing, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) needs to learn that some things should just be kept to herself; for instance, perhaps what she does during a taping of The Colbert Report:

Takes a lot of make-up to do these things! (And Moxie, we even drank a little, or I did!).

 

4. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) unprofessionally snapped at his followers in defense of his ability to spell (and then proceeded to demonstrate his lack of know at Twitter's character limit):

Quit complaining abt my Twitter shorthand I know how to spell But Twitter limit is 120 characters.

 

5. Sarah Palin was mocked after using her Twitter account to "favorite" an Ann Coulter tweet that linked to a photo of a racist church sign. She then was mocked for using her Twitter account to defend her mistake:

I’ve never purposefully 'favorited’ any Tweet ... I had to go back to my BlackBerry to even see if such a function was possible. I was travelling to Alaska that day ... it was an obvious accidental 'favoriting.’

 

6. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich) broke a national security embargo when he updated his followers about a secret congressional trip to Iraq via Twitter:

Moved into green zone by helicopter, Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new U.S. embassy. Appears calmer, less chaotic than previous here.

The Pentagon has since reviewed its Twitter policy.

 

7. When an employee with access to the Secret Service’s Twitter account -- who allegedly mistakenly believed they were on their personal account -- posted the following message, drama ensued:

[H]ad to monitor Fox for a story. Can’t. Deal. With. The. Blathering.

 

8. Virginia state senator Jeffrey Frederick (Republican) tipped off Democrats that one of their members was about to switch sides. Thanks to his tweet, the Dems made sure this didn't happen.

Big news coming out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power-sharing underway.

 

9. And who can forget this profane tweet that inexplicably showed up on Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-Conn) Twitter page last year:

U love torturing me w this s***

His staff quickly apologized for the tweet and said it was not sent by Dodd himself.

 

Image via Anthony Weiner

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