Jon Fetterman TikTok Whisperer The New York Times

Newt Gingrich wasn’t happy. It was the night before Raphael Warnock was called for the US Senate race in Georgia. On Fox News’ “Hannity”, he began to point fingers at Herschel Walk’s impending loss. TikTok is the main culprit.

Tik Tok? Gingrich claimed that the Chinese-owned social media platform Tik Tok, which was not even in existence at the beginning Donald J. Trump’s presidency began, should be banned “national security reasons”. He said, “As long it’s legal. We have to learn how to compete in places like this, because that is where Generation Z gets a high percent of information.”

He said, “We must learn how to compete within it.”

This is the one and perhaps only point on which Annie Wu Henry and Mr. Gingrich agree.

26 years old, Ms. Henry (or @Annie_Wu_22), as she is commonly known TwitterThen there’s the InstagramAnd the Tik TokSince July, when she was elected to the Pennsylvania US Senate race against Dr. Mehmet O, she has been a low-ranking staffer. Mr. Fetterman’s TikTok account.

“John really had an amazing communications team working for him, and he himself was a Twitter guy for years,” Ms. Henry said on a video call from her apartment in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. She was wearing a jacket, a hoodie and a jacket (“very trademark today”) she laughed. “But we were able to take his voice and his message to other platforms,” ​​she said.

Ms Henry stated that those other platforms were “more valuable than they might ordinarily be” because Mr Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, was unable to get on the road.

According to Joe Calvillo (Mr. Fetterman’s communications director), Ms. Henry is fast becoming “the queen TikTok”. In three months, the account had more than 240,000 followers. It has three million likes and tens to millions of views. Mrs. Henry could make serious fun, serious fun; And her motto — in life and on TikTok — is to “Embrace Decadence.” Meaning, let the world see you as your authentic messy self.

You must have a candidate who is willing to do this. “John is not an Instagram guy” — polished and carefully curated — “nor would he be putting him on TikTok dancing,” she said. “But we can use a strange, weird sound and tweak our messaging so that it’s a little bit, well not super subtle but still in keeping with who John is, who this campaign really is.”

Some of her songs: videoDr. Oz boasts that he was born in South Philadelphia. He then shows a map showing that he is in New Jersey. It’s covered in “all star”, from Smash Mouth.

Another one More cutting examples: A TikTok trio duet featuring the heavy metal puppets from “Numbers (I can only count to four)”, with Dr. Oz unable counting the number of houses he owns.

While not created Mr. Fetterman replied To Dr. Oz’s famous Crudités video, in which he complained about the price of “crudités” and confused Philly grocery stores Wegmans and Redner, it had a fundraising moment. Donors who donate more than $5 will receive a a poster It read: “Wegners: Let Them Eat Crudité.” The money came in quickly.

“Annie is such a generational force,” said a young political activist known as the Mims. He has a Twitter account @AnnieMims.organizerAn aggregator of cleverly written political images and texts that also serves as a forum for young employees to vent their frustrations without worrying about their bosses. (Mims is 25 years old, works in politics, and wants to keep his job. He has chosen anonymity.

He considers Mrs. Henry his close friend, even though they only met in Georgia when Mrs. Henry decides to travel to Georgia to help Senator Warnock win the Asian vote during the runoff.

Mims said that often young people involved in campaigns are not trusted to perform certain tasks. “Annie is what happens if you trust young people to do their best work.”

Ms. Henry was born in York County, Pennsylvania to Beth Henry and Tom Henry, both special education teachers. Adopted in China when she was 13 months old.

Mr. Henry explained that the nurse told her parents that their new daughter was so proud of them and would achieve all she wanted in life.

Her parents believed that injustice would make her head explode from an early age. Her liberal, but devout Methodist parents were disappointed when their daughter refused to go to church with them. She learned the truth about same-sex marriage from their church.

Her father stated, “I think she felt vulnerable because she was adopted in China and there were not many other ethnicities in our area.” “Sometimes she was criticized. But when she saw someone else getting arrested, she was furious.”

She was in high school when she got her first smartphone. Before she could vote, she was tweeting about the 2012 election. She led Black Lives Matter protests four years ago in her predominantly white hometown.

Her father was the first person to tell her about Mr. Fetterman. “When he was Mayor in Braddock, I admired his ability to really help people who were down and for standing up for common people,” stated Mr. Henry. Annie asked me to tell him that I was thinking about him when he announced he was considering running as a senator. This is someone that you can support.

She graduated from Lehigh University in 2018—her honors thesis was on the intersection of identity and social media—and then worked a series of jobs: organizing for a local political couple in Philadelphia and doing social media for a wedding company to pay the bills.

I wrote this at the outbreak of the epidemic Attention grabbing article About coming to terms with her race for the first time and feeling really scared as an Asian American in a country the president has been calling Covid-19 the “China flu.” When she wears a mask in public, she reminds herself to “look friendly” and not to sneeze or cough.

Last year, she shared her first viral Tweet with a friend: Stop asian hate meme It was viewed millions of times thanks to celebrities like Ellen Pompeo and Chrissy Teigen.

Sophie Ota, Mr. Fetterman’s digital director, hired her at July’s end. Mrs. Henry said that the following months were blurry. There were no days ahead. There was no time for Mrs. Henry or the other staff to go over the pundits’ predictions about the “red waves,” so they kept the news on the TV.

Ms. Henry was also the only person in the campaign to own a car. She drove co-workers around the state, covering about 1,000 miles per week. (At one point, Ms. Henry was asked by the compliance officer to check employee expenses. She looked at the number of lattes she was purchasing and wanted to know who was buying each day. It was only for her.

She and Mr. Fetterman often lived in different locations, but she would arrive early to events so she could take pictures of people, lines, and crowds. There was always a tracker, a man from Team Oz, who kept an eye on the event.

Mrs. Henry said, “It’s really widespread,” but the man was there mostly so they could make fun John’s bad words. You can also record John’s kids. There are many ways to do this wherever you are. Not Rude and uncaring. Mrs. Henry had one last word of contempt: “And he used to camcorder.

Ms. Henry has a high online profile, aside from her connection to Fetterman. Her Instagram account (which has over 80,000 followers) provides information on how to fight racism and protect abortion rights. She also posts selfies with crowd-pleasing pals like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and actress Kerry Washington.

Ms. Henry isn’t afraid to support low-paying politics, with a side story or two. I have partnered with non-profits that protect democracy or promote reproductive rights, as well as the manufacturer of my skin cream and vibrator.

Political tchotchkes and pop culture references—“just a few references to the people I look up to”—fill her apartment. Doormat said that this house understands that basic human right are not political issues, and that science can be a matter of fact and not opinion. Hello. ”

Taylor Swift merchandise is scattered about, and signed copies Jimmy Carter and Gloria Steinem books are on the coffee table. Her door was flanked by a tote bag that said, “Friends don’t allow friends to miss an election.”

She’s trying to catch up with her real life after the hazy past few months — answering emails, paying a speeding ticket, and perhaps most importantly, getting tickets to Taylor Swift’s next concert. Giselle Fetterman, her wife, claimed they were “linked to text messages” with Taylor Swift. She is single and unemployed, but she did not panic, unlike many of her colleagues.

She said, “I don’t know how this will happen.” “I don’t believe I’ll have this, like, huge dream job forever.” She stated that she didn’t think she wanted work on The Hill. A recent post on InstagramHer intense appearance as Jackie O makes her unique, and she mysteriously visits White House.

She’s now enjoying her first taste celebrity. She claimed that she was walking down the street when a man approached her and asked, “Are your Annie?” Lee wrote that “I said yes” but was confused and surprised.” Lee responded by exclaiming, “Thanks for all that you’ve done,” then he hurried away.

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