It might be the defining feature of 21st century politics. Just ask President Donald Trump.
Social media gives politicians a way to connect directly to the public, getting their message out while going around traditional media gatekeepers like, well, The Buzz.
Trump rode his outsized Twitter personality to the White House and still regularly excites – and enrages – his followers from the Oval Office a year later.
These prolific Palmetto State tweeters haven’t reached those heights yet, but are well worth a follow. Building on last year’s column on this theme – here are more South Carolina-specific Twitter accounts you should follow:
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▪ Rep. Micah Caskey (@MicahCaskey)
This Lexington Republican and attorney joined the State House in 2016. In addition to his previous record in the 11th Circuit solicitor’s office, Caskey brought some strong GIF skills and a penchant for subtweeting.
He also can deploy a well-timed emoji. When Trump tweeted about a potential investigation of “Crooked” Hillary Clinton by saying, “At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper,” Caskey commented, “Magic (eightball) says: Tweet may not age well.”
The ongoing controversy around SCANA and Santee Cooper’s failed nuclear project is a frequent subject of Caskey’s tweets. He even got into the holiday spirit when commenting on one news report about the critical (and long secret) Bechtel report, having a Buddy the Elf GIF tell us the utilities “sit on a throne of lies.”
▪ Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers)
Sellers has kept busy since he left the S.C. State House in 2014, as his Twitter feed shows. The Columbia attorney sidelines as a commentator on CNN and tweets links to his new podcast, for which he has interviewed everyone from Charles Barkley and Charlamagne tha God to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and Hillary Clinton.
The feed also gives Sellers another platform to sound off on events of the day, like the sexual assault allegations against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. Sellers called on Franken to resign.
“This isn’t abt the Dem party... Franken is not (Alabama Senate candidate Roy) Moore, he’s not Trump, but that’s not the standard.”
▪ Curtis Loftis (@TreasurerLoftis)
South Carolina’s state treasurer since 2010, Loftis is a regular retweeter of news items from across South Carolina and beyond – adding his thoughts along the way.
But he also uses the platform to promote some programs run out of the treasurer’s office.
One tweet pointed out the state is holding $550 million in unclaimed cash waiting for someone to take it off his hands. (Loftis is currently president of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.) Another finds him on the sidelines with Cocky promoting the state’s Future Scholar college savings program.
▪ Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (@MPowersNorrell)
The three-term Lancaster Democrat always has an interesting take on the South Carolina political world, and not just inside the halls of Columbia.
A video posted by Norrell shows her breaking a board with her hand at a conference for the National Foundation for Women Legislators.
“I didn’t think I could do it, but I did it!” she said.
She also highlights other issues either facing the State House or in the news, like an exchange with Pickens Republican Gary Clary on climate change.
“Sadly, we have to find ways to talk about them without invoking the cries of ‘hoax,’ ” she said. “I appreciate working with reasonable people like you!”
▪ Lynn Teague (@LynnSTeague)
The legislative action director for South Carolina’s League of Women Voters is as regular a feature around the State House as any lawmaker. When an issue like new utility regulations comes up, Teague’s Twitter page can turn into a live feed of the discussion.
When she isn’t talking about what the Legislature is doing, Teague is campaigning for issues the state’s lawmakers should be addressing.
Teague also has a pretty comprehensive feed of South Carolina political news – including The Buzz’s first column on S.C. Twitter handles.