It’s not often we see an apology from a pol on Twitter. But Wednesday, the White House’s incoming adviser, John Podesta, did just that.
In an interview with Politico in the fall, the former Clinton chief of staff compared Republicans to a murderous cult saying, “They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress.”
National Review’s Greg Pollowitz compared the comment to President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina.
This comment on Jim Jones is @johnpodesta's Katrina.— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) December 18, 2013
The outrage on Twitter – and elsewhere -- resulted in this Podesta tweet:
In an old interview, my snark got in front of my judgment. I apologize to Speaker Boehner, whom I have always respected.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) December 18, 2013
And Mr. Speaker? It doesn’t seem like he’s in a forgiving mood. His spokesman had this to say to reporters: “For those who’ve forgotten, a Democratic member of Congress was murdered in Jonestown and a current one, Rep. Jackie Speier, was shot five times during the same incident … If this is the attitude of the new White House, it’s hard to see how the president gets anything done again.”
Budget deal? What budget deal?
We pay very little attention when a budget is passed and pay very much attention when there is no budget.— Michael Roston (@michaelroston) December 18, 2013
Roston is right. The Senate voted 64-36 to approve the budget Wednesday night, but there wasn’t a lot of chatter on Twitter. Except when it came to vets.
Forget Waste, Fraud or Obamacare...latest budget cuts targeting our vets!? Why's Congress picking on these guys?... http://t.co/yY2JosP2Vo— Tom Sullivan (@sullivanradio) December 18, 2013
Feeling for our military due to US Senate failing to repeal the cuts to military & vets last night in budget deal.— Scott P. Brown (@SenScottBrown) December 18, 2013
Arizona Republican candidate Andrew Walter is using the vote to slam his opponent.
Unbelievable. Illegal immigrants are winning out over military veterans in budget deal. http://t.co/kUKrn6QCUE— Allen West (@AllenWest) December 18, 2013
Virginia’s Mark Warner tweets his plan to restore vet funding.
We knew Max Baucus was outta here – we just didn’t know how far. The senior senator from Montana may soon have the president to thank for his first ambassadorship.
Ambassador to China is a ticket to ride, ladies and gentlemen— Alex Burns (@aburnspolitico) December 18, 2013
@aburnspolitico Typical ambassador tour coincides nicely with cooling off period...just saying.— Mark Leibovich (@MarkLeibovich) December 18, 2013
What makes this semi-surprising is that the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee tangled with the White House this summer, calling the roll-out of ObamaCare a "train wreck." He’s taken flak from Democrats for giving Republicans too many concessions in the tax reform battle.
Washington Post’s Dylan Matthews wins the funniest Baucus tweet, playing off of the popularity of Chinese proverbs.
"Only Baucus can go to China." - old Montana proverb— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) December 18, 2013
But, forget the jokes. Agence France-Presse’s Felicia Sonmez sounds the wake-up call.
In words of a friend last night who does US-China work: last 30 years of relationship were the easy part. Next 30 years will be harder.— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) December 19, 2013
Mànzŏu, Senator. (It means take care in Chinese, but it also generally means “walk carefully.”)
Average Jane moms made their way to the White House to meet with Michelle Obama and hear about … ObamaCare.
The Weekly Standard sees the story a slightly different way.
Barack and Michelle Obama to Use Moms as Propaganda Props http://t.co/akhsqpgIFa— weeklystandard (@weeklystandard) December 18, 2013
The verdict is in for Obama. The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan tweets about the agreement among D.C. scribes.
Everyone is doing thoughtful year-end pieces on President Obama. Writers and reporters agree he’s had his worst year ever.— Peggy Noonan (@Peggynoonannyc) December 18, 2013
Doesn’t seem like it can get much worse, but the year ain’t over yet.
And finally, the Fiscal Times’ national reporter Rob Garver has made my job a heckuvalot easier. He’s compiled his bipartisan list of Twitter “uh-oh” moments from 2013, including this one from Valerie Jarrett:
Politicians’ Dumbest Tweets of 2013 http://t.co/yxVTjyvGUs— Rob Garver (@rrgarver) December 18, 2013
Twitter is the gift that keeps on giving.
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Lauren Ashburn joined the network in 2013 and currently serves as a Washington-based contributor for FOX News Channel (FNC). On MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, Ashburn contributes commentary on the state of the news media shaping current events, their role in politics, cultures, business, and tech. Click here for more information on Lauren Ashburn.