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in brief: hillary clinton joins twitter

Image via The Wall Street Journal

Image via The Wall Street Journal

Hillary Clinton has finally joined Twitter. The former First Lady and potential 2016 presidential candidate has racked up more than 200,000 followers five hours after unlocking her account and sending her first tweet.

Clinton (@HillaryClinton) referenced the ‘texts from Hillary’ meme that to date has been her largest internet presence, in both her Avatar and first tweet, writing: ‘Thanks for the inspiration @ASmith83 & @Sllambe – I’ll take it from here… #tweetsfromhillary

While husband Bill and daughter Chelsea have a strong presence on the social media site, Ms Clinton’s absence had been commented upon. Buzzfeed recently published an article discussing how the political icon was putting her prospective presidential campaign at risk by avoiding ‘the online platform where much of today’s political conversation takes place: Twitter.’

While the Clinton family and surrounding staff are notoriously private, the lack of engagement with the press and public has been acknowledged as partly to blame for her loss in 2008.

Another article notes that should Clinton be successful in her bid for presidency, she will be the first female president of the United States. This ‘newness’ may be the driving force of the campaign and will appeal to younger voters.

Sceptics may claim that Clinton’s first foray into Twitter is an attempt to bring the candidate in line with this ‘new and fresh’ persona. The Twitter account references memes, and Clinton’s bio makes jokes about her being a ‘hair icon’ and ‘pantsuit aficionado’. The Hillary Clinton who tweets isn’t old; she is ‘cool’ and is ready to shake things up (like she shook up the dance-floor in South Africa).

A good social media campaign seems crucial to success in American politics in the twenty-first century. It was integral to President Obama’s victory, and may be the key to Clinton’s success in 2016.

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