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How Politicians Are Using Vine, Twitter's New Video Service

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 27 2013

Freshman Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) is using new Twitter video application Vine to give his constituents a behind-the-scenes look at his work in the House.

Tuesday, his Twitter account featured a brief video clip showing the process of him submitting his first bill, the VetSuccess Enhancement Act, which would extend the eligibility period for the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation & Education VetSuccess program by five years to 17 years after the military discharge of disabled veterans. The Vine video was also highlighted by Twitter's @Gov account.

Here's the video:

The seconds-long clip shows Takano signing the bill, riding the Capitol subway, going up an escalator and then handing in the bill.

"We're a freshman office, so for us it's really important to get what we're doing out there in new innovative ways," Brett Morrow, Takano's communications director said. "It's really about giving a peek behind the curtain."

Takano's staff came up with the idea to use Vine. The shot on the subway "was me with the camera," Morrow said.

He added that an earlier Vine video produced by Takano's office showed him heading to the House floor. On Feb. 14, Twitter's @Gov account highlighted a Vine video from Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa.) highlighting her new office space.

Morrow said that even with today's video, staff had to think carefully about how they wanted to show Takano's "journey" since video filming is not permitted on the House Floor.

Takano has also gained media attention as the first member of Congress who is both openly gay and a person of color.

Several politicians are testing out the new video service.

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) also just yesterday posted a Vine video that shows students from Carrboro High School saying "Welcome from Washington D.C." during a visit.

ABC News noted that Alex Conant, spokesperson for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), posted a Vine video of him preparing for the recording of his pre-"Watergate" Spanish-language rebuttal to the State of the Union. Later Conant posted Vine videos of Rubio discussing his response and his "water break" with Fox News and George Stephanopoulos.

Zoe Pagonis, director of digital strategy for Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D), yesterday and today has posted Vine videos touring the Governor's office and setting the scene before his press conference on the sequester.

Since Vine at this point does not have a way to search accounts or users, the only way to find Vine videos posted by politicians or their staff is by searching for related keywords on Twitter in connection with the Vine web address "vine.co," or using the third-party website Vineviewer, which allows searches of Vines by hashtag.

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