Cantor shows his social media, tech side at Politico event

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Cantor shows his social media, tech geek side at Politico event
Red Alert Politics
John Rossomando
April 19, 2012

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., showed his tech geek side Thursday morning at Politico’s Playbook breakfast, chatting about his iPad preferences and his use of social media to involve ordinary Americans in the legislative process, among other things.

Cantor quipped that he’s a fan of the Sudoku app for the iPad and that he uses the gadget for everything from official business such as reading staff briefings to reading publications such as Politico and his hometown newspaper The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“This is an unbelievable tool that we have before us,” Cantor said about his iPad.

But that aside, Cantor told Politico Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen who moderated the discussion that he maintains a Twitter wall in his office as a reminder of the importance of keeping connected with the people.

“We will end up getting a better work product if we pay attention to the fact we have got to engage the public,” Cantor said. “It is they who sent us here.

“And that’s what I think about social media, whether it is Twitter or if it is Facebook – it’s any of the platforms now online … that will allow people to engage in a much more rapid fashion … in a much fuller way.”

Cantor has incorporated social media into what he calls the Citizen Co Sponsor Project that was launched together with Facebook, which allows people to incorporate things they like and are tracking in the legislative process to keep their friends informed.

“It could spark some kind of interest that ‘I could go in and I could figure this out as well and become an owner of the process’,” Cantor said.

Asked what Washington could do to learn from the experiences of Silicon Valley, Cantor summed it up saying that innovation can’t be stymied.

“One of the things you mention is that we can open up for ideas, which is why we have a Twitter wall, which is why you see so much activity from Republican members of Congress online,” Cantor said. “The more we can stay close to the exchange of ideas and to the people that put us there, the better the work product is here.

“One of the things that we did with the schedule of the House this term was to make sure that the members are going home and living with the people that elect them and don’t stay within the Beltway confines under the dome if you will to think that all answers come from Washington.”

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