President joins Twitter, already has 1M-plus followers

Steven Loeb · May 18, 2015 · Short URL:

If Twitter followers are any indication, say hello to President Hillary Clinton in 2016!

Twitter have may have stagnating user numbers, but now it can say it has at least one big new member that it can highlight for this quarter: the President of the United States.

On Monday, the White House revealed the new account, @POTUS, which it is calling "the official Twitter account of the President of the United States." It was quickly verified by Twitter.

The President even put up his first Tweet, which read, "Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account." That single tweet was retweeted 180,000 times, and liked over 240,000 times.

The official presidential account already has 1.17 followers, which obviously means that people have been waiting a long time for this.

To be clear, despite having his name on it, this does not appear to be Barack Obama's account; rather it is going to be account for whomever happens to be sitting in the Oval Office at the time.

There is precedent for this. In December 2012, Pope Benedict XVI launched the official Papal twitter account,@Pontifex. After he stepped down, the Twitter account was disabled, only to be reopened in March after Pope Francis I took over. 

"The @POTUS Twitter account will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him," the White House said in its press release. "President Obama is committed to making his Administration the most open and participatory in history, and @POTUS will give Americans a new venue to engage on the issues that matter most to them."

Of course, President Obama is kind of late to the party when it comes to having his own social media account. 

President Biden already has one (@VP), with 509,000 followers, while the First Lady's official account (@FLOTUS) does much better, with 1.87 million, since January 2013. 

Nor is Obama the first President to get his own account. Bill Clinton (@billclinton) has 3.43 million followers, while George H.W. Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) has only 159,000 followers (hey, what do you want? The guy is 90 years old!)

The only two living Presidents that don't have Twitter accounts now are Jimmy Carter (who is also 90) and George W. Bush because we all know how taxing it can be to come up with 140 characters (was that too mean? No, it wasn't.)

Are the President and First Lady actually the ones writing these tweets? I think we'd all like to think so, but it's probably just some White House intern given this thankless task.

The 2016 campaign

What all of this tells us is that having a social media account is key for politicians, both in and out of office, to keep connected to the people. If you want to run for President, especially, a Twitter account is basically a given at this point. 

So how do the candidates for 2016 (both declared and those that will obviously declare) stack up? Let's take a look, shall we?

The first name that comes to mind, even though she hasn't officially declared, is Hillary Clinton. Her account (@HillaryClinton) is doing pretty well right now, with 3.52 million followers. She may not win the Presidency, but I have a feeling she already won social media.

The only other candidate on the Democratic side is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. His account (@SenSanders) hs 322,000 followers. Therefore, because this is obviously the only thing that matter, he has already lost and should just get out of the race right now (I'm kidding, a fight for nomination is the best thing that can happen).

The Republican side is much more crowded, for better or worse. On that side, there have been six candidates that have declared, and more are thinking about it (more on that later).

The most well known candidates are probably Texas Senator Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) who has 408,000 followers, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) who has 613,000.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) has 365,000, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) has 737,000.

Fringe candidates Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson), a former neurosurgeon, has 345,000 followers, and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) has 366,000. But neither of them is going to be President. Ever. So it really doesn't matter.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention two people who are haven't declared, and, again, who will never, ever be President, but can't help throwing their names out there every time there is a new election. 

Former pit bull/hockey mom Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) has 1.14 million followers, and current showboat/man who really needs to just admit he's going bald Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) has 2.91 million followers.

Ok, I take it back. Having the most Twitter followers doesn't mean you are going to be President. Please, don't let that be the case!

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