After four years, Secretary Sebelius gets her own Twitter account; other Secretaries use the service sporadically...
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama use Twitter fairly frequently, signing personal tweets with their initials. But few members of the President's Cabinet use the service: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is the first to establish a new, personal Twitter account for the second term. She joined Twitter on Monday, after four years in her post.
"Hello Twitterverse. I’m looking forward to reaching out to you and talking about the great work happening at @hhsgov," Sebelius wrote as her opening salvo on @Sebelius with the photo, above. By Tuesday morning, the former Governor of Kansas had 3,557 followers.
As for other Cabinet Secretaries on Twitter: Education Secretary Arne Duncan is a Twitter fan, and posts frequently on @ArneDuncan. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice also tweets frequently, on @AmbassadorRice. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack does not have his own account, but has done chats on the @USDA account. He signs personal tweets with "-TV."
Newly minted Secretary of State John Kerry also does not have his own account, but began tweeting as soon as he was sworn in on @StateDept, where he signs personal missives "-JK." His hashtag is #SecKerry.
New Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also does not have his own Twitter account, but @USTreasury has been following his action, including tweeting photos like the one above, with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on March 7. The Office of the Vice President tweets @VP, and Biden signs the tweets with "-VP" when he personally tweets.
New Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel also does not have a personal account, but @DeptofDefense tracks him with the hashtag #SecDef.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. does not have a Twitter account, but @TheJusticeDept follows his action. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano does not have a personal account, but @DHSgov follows her action, and she occasionally tweets with her initials.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan does not have a personal account, but @HUDNews follows his action with #SecDonovan. Chief of Staff Denis McDonough does not have a personal Twitter account, and should not be confused with standup comic @denismcdonough. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki will remain in his post, but he makes infrequent appearances on @DeptVetAffairs.
As for outgoing Secretaries: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tweets somewhat sporadically @KenSalazar. He will be replaced by Sally Jewell, the CEO of outdoor equipment megabiz REI, once she is confirmed. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is about to be replaced by Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist, if he is confirmed. Chu did not have a Twitter account but Energy is @Energy. No new contender has been nominated to replace Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, formerly the sole Republican in the Cabinet. The agency uses @USDOT. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is also leaving her post; the agency's account is USDOL. The other Cabinet Secretary posts are currently filled by interim heads.
President Obama and Mrs. Obama have both largely abandoned their campaign-trail Twitter accounts, @BarackObama and @MichelleObama. The President now tweets personally on @WhiteHouse with "-BO," while Mrs. Obama uses @FLOTUS, launched on her birthday in January, as well as @LetsMove, and @JoiningForces, the accounts for her two initiatives. Personal tweets are signed on all accounts with "-Mo."
*White House photos