The “Nuddy” Politician You Should Follow on Twitter

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 23 2011 1:44 PM

Follow Friday: Feel the Roementum

Former Louisiana Gov. Charles Elson 'Buddy' Roemer, III, in Waukee, Iowa, in March.

Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images

“I should be president,” Buddy Roemer told Politico in March, “or somebody better than me should be.” Roemer is a former governor of Louisiana who hasn’t won an election since before Taylor Swift was born. But he had a few ideas about politics—radical campaign finance reform, withdrawal from NAFTA and other trade deals—and wanted them to get taken seriously.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Nobody took them seriously. Thus: Twitter. Roemer’s personal/campaign account became the running monologue of a guy who considered himself presidential timber and couldn’t believe the idiots he was losing to. He wasn’t in debates, so he had a lot of time to type out rants on his iPhone. He used it. After Newt Gingrich told a gay voter to go for Obama:

⚠ Newt is hazardous to himself ⚠

As Roemer watched MSNBC—he likes to tell followers what he’s watching—and learned of another Gingrich idea:

According to Newt, smaller government means squishing the Judicial branch of it. #edshow #NewtWorldOrder

A less imaginative fringe candidate might have left it there. Roemer, more than any politician I’ve ever seen, realizes how far you can get if you realize that Twitter accounts are attached to actual people. “I wonder what President the corporations are gonna buy us next year!” tweeted Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Roemer retweeted him and added “<-- Not this one!” He’s won endorsements this way, and likes to brag about it.

Still no lobbyist endorsements, but two comedian Twitter endorsements >> @michaelianblack @robdelaney #howcoolisthat

I’ve experienced the Roemer charm offensive, too. Over the summer, I invented the joke hashtag #roementum, a commentary on how every other candidate was getting a chance to surge, so why not Buddy? Roemer took over the joke, thanking me (on Twitter) for the neologism, and deploying it whenever he was about to make news. When he doesn’t want to make news, he tweets something anyway.

Have to be careful with these iPhone when signing my name. The "N" is dangerously close to the "B" #nuddy
I think I may be the shortest guy running for president in 2012 #ButTallerInSpirit

Matt Labash wrote once that it’s fun to cover outsider candidates because you can see people with healthy egos stumble, and you get to watch how far their ids can stretch before snapping. If you want to see this in real time, follow Buddy Roemer.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 22 2014 1:22 PM Is Arabic Really Just One Language? 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Sept. 22 2014 2:12 PM Crusader, Sans Cape The superhero trappings of Gotham are just a clever disguise.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.