Time magazine's Zeke Miller, late of that august political journal BuzzFeed, has a brief article up on his magazine's site today heralding Hillary Clinton's joining the social media/microblogging service Twitter. The former First Lady and Secretary of State’s account was verified in less than an hour, and nabbed nearly 23,000 followers in two hours. Feminist sites, like Feministing, have called it a de facto 2016 declaration.
Of course, Mrs. Clinton dipping her toes in the Twitter waters comes on the heels of new revelations of 'endemic' corruption at the State Department during her watch. You wouldn't know, however, from Miller's brief item, which enthused that:
in her Twitter biography, the potential 2016 presidential candidate describes herself as “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…”
Her profile picture is a TIME photo by Diana Walker of the then-Secretary of State checking her blackberry aboard a military C-17, on her way to meet with Libyan rebel leaders in Tripoli. The photo was made famous by the Tumblr “Texts from Hillary.”
Miller is hardly alone, however, as Associated Press writer Ken Thomas has an equally fluffy item (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Twitter, meet (at)HillaryClinton.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Twitter on Monday, describing herself with a dash of humor as a "pantsuit aficionado" and a "hair icon."
The former New York senator and first lady sent out her first tweet under the handle (at)HillaryClinton. In her first tweet, Clinton thanked the creators of the popular online parodies called "Texts from Hillary," and said, "I'll take it from here." She added a hashtag (hash)tweetsfromhillary.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate's profile page on the microblogging service shows the infamous photo of a stern-looking Clinton wearing dark sunglasses and reading her Blackberry aboard a military plane while leading the State Department during President Barack Obama's first term.
Her biography section includes light-hearted descriptions such as "hair icon," ''pantsuit aficionado," and "glass ceiling cracker." The bio ends with the letters "TBD," meaning, "to be determined"_which could be a reference to her potential White House bid.
After only a few hours, Clinton had racked up more than 100,000 followers.
Twitter quickly opened up the cyber welcome mat for Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton, who joined Twitter in April after some nudging from comedian Stephen Colbert, welcomed his wife, asking, "Does (at)Twitter have a family share plan?" Daughter Chelsea Clinton retweeted her mother's first tweet and added, "Welcome Mom!"
Supporters and opponents alike tweeted out messages to her handle, with some encouraging her to run for president. Well-wishers included talk show host Larry King, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Rocker Tommy Lee tweeted, "Welcome to Tweeeeeeeeter Hillary!"
Twitter could become an effective medium for Clinton, who has kept a relatively low profile since departing the State Department earlier this year. Obama used Twitter throughout his re-election campaign to connect with his millions of followers and urge them to support his campaign.
Supporters and opponents alike, eh? Doubtless some of those from opponents mentioned the prostitution-and-drugs scandal, like one @hale_razor:
Hi @hillaryclinton! Question: how does an amazing woman miss State Dept prostitution & drug rings, AND Benghazi cables requesting security?— Razor (@hale_razor) June 10, 2013
If Miller or Thomas want to redeem themselves, maybe they could do a puffy piece about some of the zingers conservatives are making on Twitter with #tweetsfromhillary.