LANSING (AP) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s press secretary said Wednesday that she has never seen him throw down a newspaper in anger over an unflattering article – because he largely doesn’t read print editions.
Instead, the tech-savvy governor and former Gateway computer executive prefers to read on his iPad, which he carries at all times.
“I don’t know that I’ve actually ever seen him hold a newspaper, because he’s got his iPad,” Sara Wurfel told the Capital Issues Forum in Lansing. She added she is trying to wean herself off printed information because the governor is “pretty paperless.”
“He doesn’t keep file folders on issues or anything like that. He doesn’t like big, thick briefing books. He likes everything electronically,” Wurfel said. “Any kind of briefing he has for the schedule for the day is actually all online. He gets on his iPad or iPhone and looks at it electronically that way.”
Snyder works from his electronic devices as the state police drive him from his home outside Ann Arbor each day, she added. But even at his Lansing office, it’s hard to find him with a paper in hand.
The governor’s dislike of paper extends to speeches, preferring a list of talking points to a copy of a full speech. He is increasingly turning to electronic measures to get out his message, holding a town hall meeting on Facebook last week to speak with voters about his State of the State address the day after delivering it.
Snyder also answers constituents’ questions on his Facebook page, Rick Snyder for Michigan, and posts videos online. More than 40,000 people “like” his page, and he posts on Twitter under the name “onetoughnerd.”
“We’re trying to work out time on his calendar every single week to actually do some kind of quick little video,” Wurfel said. “You’re going to see a lot more of the social media and how we can harness that.”
For Snyder, relying on the latest electronic devices is the normal way of doing business in the digital age.
“(It) totally fits within the governor’s persona of this whole technology and nerd theme,” Wurfel said.
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