The first Friday of a month is a special time for political observers in an election year.
Politicians, press and pundits alike wait with bated breath for the clock to strike 8:30 a.m., the precise moment when the Department of Labor releases job creation figures and unemployment statistics for the past month.
But if the actual figures are the subject of great anticipation, the political reactions to them, especially this year, have become rather predictable.
The White House's first response was precisely as expected, noting the growth of private sector jobs as a positive sign but acknowledging more work needed to be done.
Democrats in Congress struck a similar tone, often adding a criticism of their Republican colleagues for blocking job creation initiatives.
Equally predictable was the response from Republicans, who said the lackluster economy was a sign that President Obama's policies had failed to create jobs and called for a new direction.
But amid all the familiar talking points, one twitter post stood out, from Republican National Committee press secretary Kirsten Kukowski (@kakukowski), who wrote, "@MittRomney doesn't have a plan, just same policies that have failed."
As Kukowski later clarified, she "Clearly meant @BarackObama," and the original offending tweet was scrubbed from her feed.
But twitter being twitter, the damage was already done. The original tweet was swiftly spotted by the Huffington Post's Sam Stein (@samsteinhp), who retweeted with a simple "?" and Talking Points Memo's Benjy Sarlin (?@BenjySarlin) who noted, "Well that's not the usual line from RNC."
Democrats, following the lead of Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse (@woodhouseb) swiftly followed, piling on their mockery of Kukowski's error.
"Truth to power," Woodhouse wrote in one of a series of retweets, followed by other comments including "You're right, shipping jobs overseas not a plan" and "Right - he's a pioneer outsourcer."
The DNC new media outreach director Greg Greene (@ggreeneva) also got in on the act writing, "For once I agree w/ @GOP's press sec" before his retweet of Kukowski.
Other comments from Democrats and left leaning twitterati included, "Stunning honesty from the GOP," "Tax cuts for the rich?" and "Freudian slip."
Kukowski got her own licks in in retaliation with tweets like "@WoodhouseB working hard today tweeting about me...nothing about disappointing jobs report. Me: 15, Jobs: crickets ?#sad?" and "@Woodhouseb: looks like you and @BarackObama are working off the same script today, no talk of jobs"
One would normally expect to see a familiar hashtag accompanying an online argument. But in light of the error that sparked the exchange, perhaps the best label would be #ShotsMisfired.
by RTT Staff Writer
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