With Election Day less than two weeks away, it’s time to turn off the cable news and roll up the newspaper, because the best source of political news is arriving in 140 characters. The savviest political reporters and analysts are increasingly turning to Twitter to promote their scoops, unveil fresh Gallup polling, or offer their own real-time analysis of the stretch run between President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney. Ryan Lizza and Nate Silver may not be household names, but any self-respecting political junkie should add them to the Twitter feed or risk being a step behind on the latest from the campaign trail.
They’re not the only ones with opinions worthy of being microblogged. There are also Hollywood stars including Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks, who offer a unique perspective on the absurdities of the modern-day political process.
Why you should follow: He deserves to be in your feed because the man is a freaking comic genius, but his political one-liners are pretty choice too.
Sample political tweet: I was there when Romney said, 'Let's go look for women.'
Be prepared for: Laughing out loud and embarrassing yourself in front of co-workers.
Why you should follow: He's a pretty good thermostat for measuring Wall Street's rage at Obama, as well as the source for non-'October Surprises.'
Sample political tweet: If you like having the world collapse and being told America is leading from behind--vote Obama.
Be prepared for: A healthy ego.
Why you should follow: Yes, the most bizarre moment of political theatre in history, Clint Eastwood berating an empty chair as a stand-in for Obama at the RNC, has inspired a Twitter feed. Sit back and let the crusty old man jokes fly.
Sample political tweet: Have you yelled at a chair today yet?
Be prepared for: A lack of tweeting after an RNC-inspired flurry.
Why you should follow: This one-time Republican strategist turned CNN political contributor skews to the right, but he's willing to concede when the other team has a good day.
Sample political tweet: I'd prefer no moderator: two men, coliseum, & a few lions. MT @murphymike: kill idiotic townhall and VP debates. 5 debates over 5 weeks
Be prepared for: Creative capitalisation.
Why you should follow: Savage may be better known for sex advice than campaign analysis, but he provides wonderfully arch takes on the political absurdities.
Sample political tweet: More shocks for Founders: air travel, moving pictures, 50 Shades of grey, 14th Amendment, indoor plumbing, powderless wigs. #ShockedFounders
Be prepared for: Irreverent, so prudes beware.
Why you should follow: Democrats should just hand over their messaging to whoever is behind this feed, because their satire is far more devastating than any shots of laid-off steel workers or screeds about Cayman Island accounts could ever be.
Sample political tweet: 78% of viewers said that President Obama won the debate but they'd rather have Mitt Romney's pension.
Be prepared for: Could safely be accused of disrespecting the Grand Old Party
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