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Tweeting the Griffith Switch


Freshman Democrat Rep. Parker Griffith (D., Ala. — but not for long) is joining the GOP, and as is ever more the norm, Twitter is the first medium to move on the story.

The most interesting angles on it so far come from Tweeters Jake Tapper of ABC News, and Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith of Politico.

Martin gets to the heart of the significance of the switch for 2010 and beyond:

For those dems saying ‘yeah, yeah it’s alabama,’ keep in mind that rahm and cvh won and built house maj in part due to red districts

Further, this was a dem seat. Northern AL has been Dem for YEARS. A bit of labor and remnants of FDR-type populists. Think TVA.

Smith Tweets that Griffith is a doctor, and “it’s partly health care” that inspired the switch. He adds, via a retweet of the National Republican Congressional Committee:

Griffith’s seat has not been held by a Republican since 1866

Tapper does his own run-and-gun electoral analysis:

As @DavidChalianABC points out, Griffith’s pending party-switch much like SenArlenSpecter’s, is at least in part about political survival

also can be seen as part of larger geopolitical realignment — NE to Dem, S to GOP etc

And, more interestingly, picks up on a sure-to-be wince-inducing attack ad on Griffith aired by the National Republican Congressional Committee last year:

Earlier this yr, NRCC called Griffith a “woefully ineffective advocate for Tennessee Valley jobs”

He then links to a YouTube video of the ad:

Hey House GOP, here’s your newest member!!! (from @DavidChalianABC)

thats some nasty biznatch, that NRCC ad. maybe the DCCC should just run it themselves in 2010. (then again: it didnt work)

But, prest-o-change-o, within minutes of linking to the ad it was pulled from YouTube, said Tapper, “with the speed of SNL removing its Brittany Murphy sketch.” Ouch, too soon.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Twitter without plenty of reaction from the hoi polloi, most of it coming, it would seem, from a disgruntled left. A trend search on Griffith produced a large number of Tweets with this flavor:

’Blue Dog’ Democrat To Switch Parties now time for rest

Wonder what was promised to $Parker Griffith$…Was DINO anyhow..

What, he might not make as much $$ on cancer trtmt?

F*%& Parker Griffith

You get the idea.