Monday, March 10, 2014
If Gov. Paul LePage isn't careful he just may go viral.
LePage is currently on vacation in Jamaica, but on Wednesday, just a few hours after it was made public that the Maine Hospital Association will support Medicaid expansion, the governor (or one of his staffers) fired off tweet from a much warmer clime:
News Flash from Jamaica: If Democrats have my hospital bill on my desk by Saturday, I will give up my pension.Ya Mon! #mepolitics— Paul R. LePage (@Governor_LePage) March 27, 2013
The governor's reference to his pension is a response to a pair of Democratic-sponsored bills that would have stripped him of his state retirement earnings. For the record, LePage has never appeared concerned about that, saying during a recent press conference that his pension won't be much money.
It didn't take long for LePage's tweet to blowup on the #mepolitics Twitter thread. There were 44 retweets as of 7:02 p.m., not mention a fresh back-and-forth between Democrats and LePage's supporters.
This isn't the first time LePage has taken to Twitter to stir things up during a hot news cycle.
He flashed his concealed weapons permit during the dust-up between gun activists and the Bangor Daily News. And then there was this gem when LePage signed the bill that allowed bars to open at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day when the holiday falls on a Sunday:
It's official. I've signed the bill. twitter.com/Governor_LePag…— Paul R. LePage (@Governor_LePage) March 15, 2013
The bigger story here, however, isn't just the governor's use of social media, or even what he says. It's that, after two full years in office, his every press conference, statement, video or tweet has everyone's attention.
He doesn't engage the media very often and he's selective about his public appearances. But when LePage emerges -- whether it's from his office or the beach -- he's the center of attention.
Not many (any?) public officials in Maine can say that.Tweet
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.