June 11, 2013 10:10:39 AM
WASHINGTON -- 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, thanking the creators of the popular online parodies called "Texts from Hillary." Clinton's initial tweet thanked Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe for their inspiration and said, "I'll take it from here," concluding with a hashtag (hash)tweetsfromhillary.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate's profile page on the microblogging service shows the memorable 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. The photo was made popular by Smith and Lambe's buzzworthy Tumblr, which won laughs and rave reviews by pairing the photo of the sunglasses-wearing Clinton with other politicians and imaginary text messages between world leaders.
Clinton's 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.
In her first day, Clinton racked up more than 250,000 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 several politicians, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, country music star Chely Wright and actor Ben Affleck. Rocker Tommy Lee tweeted, "Welcome to Tweeeeeeeeter Hillary!"
Obama's Twitter account said the president was "happy" to welcome Clinton to Twitter. "Stay tuned for the real hashtag (hash)TweetsFromHillary," the president told his 32 million followers.
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.
Teddy Goff, a Democratic strategist who served as the Obama re-election campaign's digital director, said Clinton's first tweet and Twitter bio "suggested someone who's more interested in building genuine relationships with her fans than in being blandly 'on message' in the traditional, political sense of the term."
"That sort of relationship is what fuels social media, and the politicians who use it well are those who understand that, as she appears to," Goff said in an email.