Washington Invokes Social Media in Fiscal Cliff Battle

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Twitter can be a powerful tool. It has even fueled revolutions across the Middle East. Now the White House is using it, hoping to win a different kind of battle.

Much of the fiscal cliff fight is being waged through social media. That's how President Obama is enlisting the masses to help him pressure Republicans in Congress.

He's created the Twitter hashtag #MY2K, which stands for "my $2,000," meaning the amount the White House says the average middle class family will lose to the government if tax cuts expire.

More than a quarter of a million people have used the hashtag, tweeting their two cents worth about the estimated $2,000 they'll lose if America falls off the fiscal cliff.

The president has even taken time to personally answer tweets.

"There we go. My Tweet has been posted. That's what I'm talking about," Obama said, signing off as B.O. for Barack Obama, with his sleeves rolled up, chewing gum.

This video was, of course, tweeted: A Virginia woman who tweeted under the hashtag received a personal visit from the president. She and her husband live with her parents.

"What Tiffany pointed out was that an increase of $2,000 or so for her and her husband in this household would actually mean $4,000 that was lost," Obama said.

Republicans are also using the president's hashtag.

Sharing a link to polling data, House Speaker John Boehner tweeted, "Another survey shows cutting gov't spending more popular than raising tax rates & threatening jobs."

And Peter M. Abraham tweeted, "There are not enough rich people in America to cover government entitlement spending. We need massive entitlement cuts to grow."

The goal of the #MY2K campaign is to personalize a complicated fiscal debate. And the president's political machine has a lot of help.

After the election "Obama for America" surveyed its army of volunteers, And nearly 80 percent said they want to keep volunteering, primarily around the president's legislative agenda.

On Obama's Facebook page, a personal quote reads, "When the American people speak loudly enough, lo and behold, Congress listens."

Americans can expect to see social media play an ever increasing role in the president's PR machine as he rolls out his agenda for his second term.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.