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Quote of the Day (Extended Edition)

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 21 2010

It takes an amazing amount of discipline to write out all of what you want to say in 140 characters or less...If you ever watch me do it, it takes me a few minutes to sort of edit even myself down.

-- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs (@pressec) on the art and practice of tweeting. Gibbs also recently called Twitter "an amazing tool" and a "fabulous medium."

All of which got me thinking, is the love of Twitter shared at the upper levels of the White House. That led, perhaps nonsensically, to firing up WashingtonPost.com's neat new "In Obama's Words" database of presidential speeches. It turns out that since becoming President of the United States sixteen months ago, Barack Obama has mentioned in major speeches the medium taking the world -- and his press secretary -- by storm, all of...

Twice. But a close read of the rich textual record suggests that Mr. President is growing fonder of Twitter. In his November townhall with young people in Shanghai, China, Mr. Obama adopted a get off my lawn approach to Twitter:

Well, first of all, let me say that I have never used Twitter. I noticed that young people -- they're very busy with all these electronics. My thumbs are too clumsy to type in things on the phone. But I am a big believer in technology and I'm a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information.

But by February, at a Denver fundraiser for Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, Obama seems to demonstrate a new found appreciation for the power of the medium:

So my bottom line is this -- my bottom line is this: As hard as you worked in 2008, you've got to work harder in 2010. If you raised money for me, I want you to raise more money for Michael Bennet. If you made more -- if you made phone calls for me, I want you to make more phones calls and I want you to Twitter, too, for Michael Bennet. If you knocked on doors on your block, I want you to go in your whole neighborhood for Michael Bennet.

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