This morning, Barack Obama officially joined Twitter — except, didn’t he do that already!?
Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.
— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
Let us explain!
According to the White House, @POTUS will be the official account of the President of the United States, regardless of who holds the office. So while Obama will be able to tweet from @POTUS for the next two years, showing the world his fighter jets and Instagrammed breakfasts and policy whatnots, the handle will be given to the next President as a symbol of the peaceful democratic transfer of power that makes America great.
(As an analogue, Pope Francis inherited @Pontifex from Pope Benedict XVI, who is currently locked in a library with old encyclicals and probably doesn’t care for having his own Twitter account. The Vatican itself has its own Twitter account.)
On the other hand, the White House’s Twitter account belongs to whatever administration sits in the executive mansion, while @BarackObama, which became a symbol of 2008 Obama’s tech-savvy campaigning, is run by the Obama for America team. Obama himself occasionally tweets from that account, but by having an official account for the Presidency, can disentangle his official Tweets from his campaigning/advocacy/community organizing Tweets.
As for why it took so darn long to get an official @POTUS account up and running — let’s just assume the White House and Twitter worked for a long time to secure a direct Presidential Twitter account that doesn’t allow the President to DM Anthony Weiner pics.
Welp, this is a neat story out of the White House; nothing could possibly make it seem odd. Oh…
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) May 18, 2015
And there it is.
[Image via Pete Souza/Instagram]
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