MichMash: Whitmer Joins Growing Trend of Governing By Hashtag

The governor wants people to post pictures of potholes using #FTDR. Will it help her fix the damn roads?

WDET Digital

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used part of her first State of the State speech this week to get people talking on social media about fixing the damn roads.

“Take a picture of your damaged car or your repair bill or the pothole outside your house and post it with the hashtag #FTDR,” said Whitmer during the speech. “And I think you know what that stands for.”

WDET coverage: “Whitmer Sets Big Goals In First State of the State, Republicans Question Feasibility”

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher talk about governing by hashtag.

They speak with social media guru Andrea Bitely.

Bitely previously served as a spokesperson for former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette — Whitmer’s Republican opponent in the 2018 election. She’s also the former director of social media at POLITICO.

She says “hashtag activism” is something that has been trending (so to speak) in the political and activist sphere recently, and will likely become even more prevalent as the 2020 presidential election ramps up.

So far, Bitely says, the results of Whitmer’s push to make #FTDR a thing have been mixed. There have been hundreds of tweets using the hashtag, but many of those fall into the “trolling” category and many others are from media organizations.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.