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Congressman Burchett gains national attention for selfie videos

Rep. Burchett says the videos help bring his constituents to Washington with him.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It is no secret Congressman Tim Burchett loves taking selfies and posting videos to Twitter. As the freshman Congressman makes his way through his first several months in office, his social media is getting national attention. 

A video he posted Thursday after his vote on the government spending bill has more than a thousand retweets. 

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"They need to know I’m up here working and it’s just a way for me to do that," said Burchett. "The last video I put out after I walked off the floor after I was disgusted with that vote that we took. It’s got over 80,000 views."

Burchett’s video Thursday evening showed his displeasure with the spending bill that had just passed on the house flood. Mixing humor and politics, his selfie appealed to people far beyond East Tennessee. 

"65 million for studying salmon," said Burchett in the video. "Man, you can go to the Red Lobster and study it for $12.95."

Dr. Richard Pacelle is a professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee. Beyond connecting with constituents and showcasing work, Pacelle says social media provides a platform where politicians can push whatever they want to people across the world with the click of a button. 

"The advantages for politicians or office holders using social media are just tremendous," said Pacelle. "You can tailor your message, you can send it out to everyone, it’s free, you can interact with people, they feel it directly."

Burchett says his videos are intended to show people a behind the scenes look of what goes on in Washington, even if cameras aren’t around him every day. Bringing people along for the ride one selfie at a time.

"I know I have the perfect face for radio and I’m incredibly good looking, but a lot of people don’t know who the heck I am," said Burchett. "The national media doesn’t care who Tim Burchett is and frankly they shouldn’t."