Palin, Ethics, and Twitter

The Post bids farewell to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, discussing lingering ethics issues and quoting an academic on her number of Twitter followers.

“Ain’t gonna shut my mouth/I know there’s got to be a few hundred million more like me/just trying to keep it free,” Palin said in a recent Tweet, quoting the song “Rollin’,” by the country duo Big & Rich.

Such folksy offerings endear Palin to millions of fans, including more than 100,000 who follow her on Twitter. But are they enough to launch a political movement?

Political scientist Jerry McBeath said the answer isn’t clear.

“In the context of 305 million Americans, 100,000 is not a lot of followers,” he said.

McBeath, chairman of the political science department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said Palin “needs to do something beyond tweeting – or twittering, whatever it is – to establish a continuous national presence.”

Senator McCain, in a little-noticed recent press release, announced that he had over one million followers (@SenJohnMcCain).  Barack Obama has about 1.8 million followers.

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