Paul Ryan, Romney’s VP Pick, Has Sizable Online Presence

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Early Saturday morning, presumptive Republican nominee for president Mitt Romney announced Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick. What kind of social presence does Ryan have?


Ryan’s been a Twitter user since early 2009, when he first tweeted the following under the handle @RepPaulRyan: “Entering the brave new world of Twitter. What the heck is this anyway?”

His top three most retweeted tweets all have to do with the budget — fitting for Ryan, who made a name for himself serving as Chairman of the House Budget Committee and advocating for severely reduced government spending. He rarely interacts with constituents the way other socially-savvy politicians, such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, often do.

On Saturday, a new Twitter account for Ryan began sending messages — @PaulRyanVP. The account was apparently created on Aug. 2 and quickly verified by Twitter.

His first and so far only tweet under the new account has already been retweeted thousands of times:

Interestingly, Ryan never tweeted about Mitt Romney before Saturday, according to

On Saturday morning, #RomneyRyan2012 became a trending topic and a wide array of politicians used Twitter to comment on Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running mate:


Ryan’s former Facebook page is clearly intended to bolster his image as a deficit hawk: a graph based on his “Path to Prosperity” plan serves as his cover photo, showing the claimed debt reduction the United States would see under the plan.

Ryan has 116,000 thousand “likes” and often posts content about the economy and YouTube videos of his media appearances.

His new Facebook page, rolled out Saturday morning, features Romney/Ryan campaign branding and a cover photo showing the two candidates:


Ryan’s active on two video platforms — YouTube and Ustream — but he favors YouTube. His YouTube account has 1.2 million views on 245 videos, which mostly include copies of his media appearances. However, he also uses the platform to address supporters directly:

Is it important for a vice presidential candidate to have an online presence? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Images courtesy of Flickr, Gage Skidmore

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