Charles Grassley has a Twitter following for a reason

Associated Press

Senator Charles Grassley has developed a cult following on Twitter.

Washington is dysfunctional enough without name-calling, and as a matter of decorum alone, Senator Charles Grassley should have known better than to tweet Saturday that President Obama is “stupid.’’ Yet the Iowa senator’s snippy comments, hardly his first about a Democratic president he clearly doesn’t like, read like awkward excesses on an otherwise fascinating Twitter feed. The 78-year-old Republican could easily do what some of his colleagues do: assign younger staffers to tap out PR messages for him. Instead, Grassley, to his credit, is working out how to use a new communications medium in full view of his constituents.

Grassley, who’s been on Twitter since 2007, has built up a cult following on the microblogging service, not least because of his aggressive use of abbreviations and his evident difficulty in typing correctly. “I now h v an iphone,’’ he wrote in February. Like many iPhone users, Grassley seems to struggle with the device’s auto-correct feature: “C me intrvud by greta van sunshine,’’ he declared recently, “on FOX tonite at 9pm central.’’


Most surprising, though, is that a longtime senator presents himself in so unvarnished a manner. Consider the offending tweet from Saturday: “Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of n law.’’ Grassley also returns frequently to some personal crusades - college basketball, for instance, and the dearth of history-related programming on the History Channel.

Tweet by tweet, Grassley is painting a candid picture of what’s on his mind. And in today’s political culture of insincerity, that’s refreshing, indeed.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com