By Becky Hogan
Remember Rand Paul’s epic 13-hour filibuster earlier this year?
We do because it generated a lot of buzz! He racked up 44,700 Twitter followers the day following his filibuster against CIA nominee John Brennan over concerns about the US drone program.
But Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t think Republican filibusters are all that much to buzz about and he’s threatened to invoke the “nuclear option” which would block filibusters on executive-branch nominations.
Unless Republicans allow a number of Obama’s nominees to be confirmed this week, Reid has threatened to change the rules and strip Republicans of their ability to block the president’s picks.
Reid’s argument: Reid claims he’s faced major delays and obstruction during his time as majority leader, fighting hundreds of filibusters, including 16 of the president’s executive branch nominees. He has also said the change in procedure would be minimal and that stalling the executive nominations are preventing Obama from getting his second-term team lined up. On Sunday, Reid said, “What we’re doing is saying: ‘Look American people, shouldn’t President Obama have somebody working for him that he wants?’”
McConnell’s argument: McConnell has recently said that he believes there is no reason to weaken the minority party’s power in the Senate. “The president has had 1,540 of his nominations confirmed, only four defeated. He’s not lost a single member of the cabinet. He’s getting them faster than President Bush was at the same time in his second term,” McConnell said on Sunday.
Who’s message is resonating more on social media channels?
While both have been covered equally in the national media, neither Senator seems to be picking up a ton of social media buzz. Reid is, however, far outpacing McConnell for Twitter followers with four times as many new followers as McConnell. Similarly, Reid has been more discussed on Facebook than McConnell which stands to reason since he has more chips on the table.
So far it looks like Reid’s message to end congressional gridlock seems to be resonating more on Facebook and Twitter.
Will Reid go nuclear? The real showdown will begin Tuesday afternoon, when a vote is scheduled to confirm the nomination of Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Check back here to see how other politicians are garnering buzz.