@HillaryClinton is finally here. The verified handle for the former Secretary of State (and, yes, potential 2016 contender) sent its first tweet on Monday afternoon at 12:44 Eastern, dropping references to the instantly viral Texts from Hillary Tumblr and its creators, freelance blogger Stacy Lambe and political strategist Adam Smith:
The references don't stop there. To commemorate her Twitter debut, Hillary (or, well, her staffers), decorated Clinton's Twitter profile with that "texting" Time photo that started the meme as her avatar, in which she's seen typing on a Blackberry, while wearing sunglasses, aboard a Boeing C-17 Globemaster enroute to Tripoli. Oh, and her bio is pretty awesome, too: "Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD..." The profile popped up, tweetless, this morning, when "pantsuit aficionado" read "pantsuit fashionista." Clinton's social-media team, which has not yet responded to a request for comment, is clearly working overtime.
But for as self-aware and social media-friendly as Clinton's Twitter debut may seem, her appearance on the platform was oddly delayed. As Rosie Gray at BuzzFeed observed in May, Clinton's team of advisors never pushed her to develop a social media presence during the 2008 campaign, leading to awkward questions about the potential strategy (and technological capabilities) of one in 2016. President Obama, of course, leaned heavily on Facebook and Twitter to push their candidate's message and, eventually, ensure voter turnout on Election Day in both 2008 and 2012. In other words, this isn't just about Twitter jokes; it's about developing a solid social media platform for Clinton's future in politics now that she's done "not being a politician" at Foggy Bottom — and, in the meantime, for the Clinton Foundation, for which her husband finally has a verified Twitter account as well.