By Matthew Cooper, National Journal, August 7, 2013:

Washington knows the power of Twitter. It’s where Barack Obama announced his reelection bid and Mitt Romney declared his selection of Paul Ryan. It’s used to win campaigns and win over constituents. It helped make Cory Booker a rock star and cost Anthony Weiner his congressional seat.

But Twitter has also allowed smart, interesting people from outside the Beltway to join the capital conversation, becoming friends with officials and journalists, connecting face to face in ways that are novel and potentially important.

Not too many years ago, if you wanted to become part of the Washington conversation you had to move here and maybe get an internship or a job. Even eight years ago, before Twitter was born, tools like Facebook and blogging never allowed for the real-time conversation and witty repartee that Twitter fosters and can be the basis for real relationships.

Consider how Twitter allowed two thirtysomethings to become voices in Washington. More importantly, it allowed them to fall in love.

@DukeStJournal and @Abba_KS were coming to the attention of Washington types–and each other back in 2009. (They’re reluctant to use their real names.) @DukeStJournal’s smart comments about the financial crisis caught the eye of former George W. Bush press secretary Tony Fratto. “We hit it off pretty quickly,” Fratto recalls. The two bonded over financial issues. After leaving government, Fratto founded one of Washington’s hottest firms, Hamilton Place Strategies which offers media, policy and advocacy solutions and has Wall Street clients. As a CNBC regular, Fratto has a deep interest in financial issues. @DukeStJournal knew the markets. At the same time, @Abba_KS was getting noticed in Washington. She hailed from Kentucky, went to college in Ohio, and lived in North Carolina. A pianist and an entrepreneur, she’s the CFO of a shoe retailer. They were funny, smart and also sweet.

Read the full article here.