Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) is no Web celebrity, but he got a taste
of the powers--and perks--of Web stardom when his social media accounts gained
a few new friends following the Nebraska legislator's announcement that he was
sponsoring a bill aimed at stopping a hike on student loan interest rates.
According to OhMyGov Media Analytics, there was a boost in
Twitter followers between April 23 and April 27--the same period that Johanns'
joined a resolution by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to extend the current
3.4 percent on subsidized college loans for another year.
The small jump in online support began sometime after April
23. Johann's base of 2,990 Twitter followers crested to a little over
3,020--beginning a slight uptick in social media following that crested at
3,050 followers in all by that Friday--an increase of 2 percent.
"No amount of campaigning is going to change the fact
that a majority of recent college graduates are either unemployed or
underemployed," Johanns said in a statement. "Everyone agrees on the
problem, but it would be irresponsible to raid the Social Security and Medicare
trust funds yet again to pay for a fix.
The legislation I'm cosponsoring would be a responsible fix that would
let us move on to a bigger issue--getting America going again."
According to politicalnews.me, If the bill becomes law, it
would pay for the extension by eliminating a portion of a multi-billion dollar
"slush fund" provided for under the President's healthcare law. The remaining 6 billion dollars
leftover would go to deficit reduction.
Around the same time as Johanns made the announcement, the
senator experienced a significant surge in media mentions for the
week, outshining fellow Republicans Mark Kirk (R-IL), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and
Mike Enzi (R-WY).
Johanns finished out the week with a record 83 percentile
ranking on OhMyGov's leaderboard and a 84 percentile ranking in news
mentions--not bad considering his overall ranking of 47 for the month.
Much of the increase can be attributed to the President's campaign to keep the federal student loan interest
rate where it is. #dontraisemyrate is one of the trending topics on Twitter--right
behind #toosmalltosucceed, a brand marketing campaign with a twist on the
"Too Big to Fail" theme that typified the beginning of the Great
Recession--and the subsequent 2008 Presidential election that catapulted Barack
Obama into office.
The #dontraisemyrate campaign has been a hit with young
people on college campuses and universities since it was rolled out, and
Johann's sponsorship of the Interest Rate Reduction Act of 2012, means he will
be the beneficiary of a lot of media attention--and a lot of Twitter love.