Ben Cardin gets hip to Facebook

Ben Cardin held off about as long as possible for a modern politician, but he finally caved to intense pressure. He launched a Facebook page.

"Back in 1966, when I first ran for the Maryland House of Delegates, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no YouTube -- not even the Internet," he writes in an e-mail that just popped up on my computer. "All we had to get our message out were yard signs, fliers, volunteers and a whole lot of determination.

"But while the way we communicate has changed a lot, my dedication to improving the lives of the people of Maryland hasn't.

"As I begin the process of building my campaign for the upcoming election, I'm embracing these new modes of communication to keep you better informed and plugged into our entire online community.

"I hope you'll visit my new Facebook page over the coming months and take a look at the latest news, photos and videos from the campaign trail. While this is a new step for me, I know it'll be a great way for us to stay in better touch."


As a Luddite with an 8-year-old dumb phone that I rarely bother to carry with me -- do I really want editors to be able to reach me whenever they want? -- I applaud tardy adopters, a term I hope I've just coined.

But is it really possible that someone in the U.S. Senate could have avoided Facebook until now?


Turns out Cardin already had an official government Facebook page. The new Facebook page is for Cardin's campaign, campaign director Shelly Hettleman tells me. (If you're wondering Hettleman is related to  Kalman R. "Buzzy" Hettleman, the former Baltimore school board member; he's her father-in-law.)

Cardin may have even had a Facebook page for his campaign four years ago, Hettleman said, but if so, there wasn't much to it.