If there’s any question about whether lawmakers are using Facebook for political purposes, look no further than the profile of Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa).
“Spending time with my family, climbing, flying, hiking, working for my constituents in Iowa,” reads the “activities” section of the Iowa senator’s profile. He’s one of many who highlight their public service on their Facebook profile.
Content of lawmakers’ pages varies widely, with some lawmakers merely pasting verbiage from their official websites into their “About Me” descriptions and others using a folksier approach to provide little-known details of their likes, dislikes, habits and personal lives.
Noteworthy contents of lawmakers’ profiles:
• In her profile photo, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) reveals that she can bowl in a skirt, her arms and legs extended into a star formation as a purple ball plops onto a lane.
• Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDrug pricing debate going into hibernation GOP leaders host Trump's top deputies Key Republican wants details on Ohio State attacker MORE (R-Iowa) provides a personal e-mail address — email@example.com — on his profile. But a message sent there went unanswered.
• Rep. Ron KindRon KindJunior Dems plot strategy as leadership vote looms Ryan: Pacific deal can't be fixed in time for lame-duck vote House Democrat expects support to grow for Pacific trade deal MORE (D-Wis.) received a birthday wish on his page from a profile identified by the username and photo of Wes Clark, former Army general and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate. “Ron — Happy Birthday! — Wes,” the message reads.
• The political designation “moderate” has convened an odd group of lawmakers. They include Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSenators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump Cornyn: ‘Virtual certainty’ Sessions and Price will be confirmed Trump's wrong to pick Bannon or Sessions for anything MORE (R-Maine) and Reps. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.), Jim GerlachJim GerlachBig names free to lobby in 2016 Ex-Rep. Gerlach ditches K St. in return to campaign world Ex-Sen. Pryor heading to K Street MORE (R-Pa.), Mark KirkMark KirkBattle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Women make little gains in new Congress MORE (R-Ill.) and Dennis Moore (D-Kan.).
• Those who logged into Rep. Tim Ryan’s (D-Ohio) profile last week would have seen that he is one of the few lawmakers who make frequent use of Facebook’s popular status-update feature. Last week Ryan informed his Facebook friends, “Tim is in a sub-committee hearing,” and “Tim is out of session until next week!”
• Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) profile seems purposefully bland, listing such activities as “spending time with my grandchildren; also art, theater, and of course, politics.”