I hesitate to spend any more time on Anthony Gemma. I think we know his story; plumbing business, runs for Congress like he’s running for Governor, good breast cancer foundation, bad candidate virtually self-financed, surrounded by a diverse team of folks.
But then I see this from WPRI’s Ted Nesi: Anthony Gemma’s new twitter feed has already collected 13,600 followers in only nine days. Which makes this new Twitter account more popular than Sheldon Whitehouse’s, Jack Reed’s, Jim Langevin’s, and David Cicilline’s; combined. Now, maybe, our congressional delegation just sucks at this whole social media thing. That’s always a possibility.
Or perhaps, if we scratch the surface; we’ll discover that some of these names are just plain fake. In fact, a huge swathe, maybe 90% of @Gemma4Congress’ followers are dummy accounts who have never tweeted once. They just follow a couple of thousand people apiece. They have weird names (not as weird as the Facebook subscribers, but pretty weird). All of them have a basic first name-last name setup, virtually none are companies.
You’d think the Gemma for Congress team would’ve learned their lesson after the last time this was exposed. You’d think they’d take a more organic approach to social media; especially when their candidate faces questions of authenticity about his positions. But clearly, they’ve chosen not to go that route.
So, in honor of this new account:
7 People/Things Anthony Gemma Is More Popular Than on Twitter
Mr. Gemma’s account (@anthonygemma) clocks in at 970,942 followers. That’s our mark.
T. Boone Pickens: The Texan billionaire is a well-known corporate raider, and avid advocate of the natural gas industry (read: fracking). But the 328th richest person in America (the 1% goes and protests about wealth disparity on his lawn) has a piddling 62,288 Twitter followers; making his Twitter-worth equal to about 1/16th of Mr. Gemma’s.
Sweden: The country famously gives out its Twitter handle to a new citizen every week, and was apparently considering handing it over to Stephen Colbert to run. But this Scandinavian nation, with more than 9 million citizens, plus all those people who keep citing it as the premier example of either a) the functioning welfare state, b) socialism, or c) both just can’t hit 70,000 followers.
Joe Biden: The Vice President of the United States’ official twitter account has about a tenth of Mr. Gemma’s followers. Keep in mind, this is Joe Biden. Famously, The Onion has run a series of hilarious stories detailing his life as VP. He’s “gaffe” prone (such as his famous “this is a big fuckin’ deal”). But the incredibly viral VP and his opposition to the White House’s Afghanistan policy isn’t more popular than a former CEO of an advertising company whose business plan is “annoyingly run a bunch of billboards around on flatbed trucks.”
Mad Men: The hit AMC show, which features smoking, drinking, and screwing (not necessarily in that order) with some vague references to advertising squeezed in between has a meager 100,000 followers. I guess nostalgia, universal critical praise, and strong writing for the purposes of entertainment just doesn’t do as well as whatever Mr. Gemma’s strategy is.
Bob Dylan: Star of a Martin Scorcese documentary, a biopic about his life featured an ensemble cast and an ensemble soundtrack; oh, and did I mention? He’s Bob Dylan! The Elder Statesman of Rock, “voice of his generation”, conscientious folksinger, living catalog of American music. But Bob’s crap at this social media thing, he can’t pull in more than 121,686 followers. Maybe 140 characters can’t contain his brilliance.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Star of the hit indie film Brick, the thinking-man’s summer blockbuster Inception, the romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer; Tommy from Third Rock from the Sun. People want to be him or be with him. Founder of the “open-collaborative production company” hitRECord, where you get to help create anything you want. But poor ol’ Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t much more than 500,000.
Jesus Christ: The Son of Man, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, the Messiah. No fewer than 1.5 billion people believe this man is their personal savior. He’s conducted literal miracles. There are multiple genres of music almost entirely committed to praising his works. He died to save our souls. But his most popular Twitter account (and he has many) can’t pull in but a bit more than half a million followers. C’mon, Mr. Gemma, show Jesus a little love, send a few followers his way. But I guess you can always pull a John Lennon and be absolutely truthful when you say you’re more popular than Jesus. PolitFact has conclusive proof for a “true” rating.
Interestingly, Mr. Gemma only follows Mad Men and Joseph Gordon-Levitt out of these.