The Internet has been abuzz over Paul Ryan since the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney declared his VP pick on Saturday, but Romney was not the first to announce his choice. The Veepstakes came to a close when Twitter scooped the story 7 hours early.
For weeks Romney’s campaign has been encouraging supporters and interested parties alike to download his free phone application, “Mitt’s VP.” According to them, anyone who downloaded the app would be the first to know who Mitt’s VP would be. Just two days after its launch, “Mitt’s VP” had been downloaded by 200,000 people.
Sadly, the app did not live up to its hype. It announced Mitt’s Paul Ryan pick at around 7 am, hours after NBC News first posted the story via Twitter at 12:04 am on the 10th. Overnight, tweets mentioning “Paul Ryan” skyrocketed to 865 tweets per minute.
Romney made the announcement in public on Saturday at a 9 am rally in Norfolk, Virginia. Tweets mentioning “Paul Ryan” peaked at around this time at 3,749 tweets per minute. Romney’s official campaign Twitter stated:
“I am proud to announce
@PaulRyanVP as my VP. Stand with us today. #RomneyRyan2012″
This is about much more than Romney being scooped on his own story. Romney chose to share his first official confirmation of his VP via a social networking tool, rather than a traditional media platform. He confirmed his choice through a direct channel to his supporters and interested parties, rather than a third party news source.
This sort of behavior is indicative of the kind of campaigning we’ll be seeing from both candidates in the coming months. Social media, more than ever before, will take a front seat on the road to the White House.