A. I was an early adopter of Twitter, but it wasn’t until my 2008 campaign that I found it to be an outstanding outreach tool. I knew when I took office it would be a large part of my media presence.
Q. What do you see as the most significant purpose of Twitter for you?
A. I like to incorporate both policy and personal tweets in my feed. The Twitter relationship is a personal one. Whether it’s taking pictures of my dog, my wife and I hiking or discussion [of] the finer points of capital formation language, I like my Twitter feed to be diverse and entertaining.
It’s also a fun way to engage constituents and other members. A couple weeks ago, when the University of Arizona football team in Rep. [Gabrielle] Giffords [D-Ariz.] district beat my [Arizona State University] football team, we bantered a bit over Twitter. Rep. Giffords’s staff tweeted out a picture of me saddened by the Arizona garb in my office. It was a fun way to pay off the bet she and I had, and allowed Arizonans back home to see their congressmen in a way they typically aren’t used to seeing them.
Twitter is a platform that allows me to see what others in my district are focusing on and what’s happening in Arizona. What’s so unique about it, is that it allows me to respond directly and quickly. I like that kind of interaction and access to the people I serve. It’s also a great type of interaction that doesn’t consume much of my constituents’ time.
Q. Do you have a best Twitter moment?
A. One of our favorite Twitter moments in the office is when the hashtag #CharlieTakesDC makes an appearance. My Wheaten Terrier, Charlie, follows me nearly everywhere I go when I’m home in Arizona. And a couple months ago, Charlie made an appearance in Washington, D.C. For a couple weeks, he explored the monuments and sites, attended some Financial Services Committee hearings and even made a couple TV appearances. His presence on Twitter morphed into a hashtag during his visit here. From there on out, Charlie has received more press than I have, and he hasn’t even introduced one single piece of legislation.
Q. Do you have a worst Twitter moment?
A. My staff knows me to be a bad pocket dialer. Sometimes I forget to lock my phone and occasionally that leads to an accidental pocket tweet or two. So, no, I don’t mean anything specific when I tweet “T” or “A.”
Images provided by Rep. Schweikert’s office or reproduced from the congressman’s official Twitter feed.