I must admit I was pretty excited Monday to find that @HillaryClinton had joined Twitter as the only “wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD...” on the network.
But bio aside, I’m starting to get a little frustrated. Since Hillary Rodham Clinton’s maiden tweet on Monday, there have been a grand total of zero new #tweetsfromhillary (including retweets) at the time of writing this post.
Shortly after her feed was launched, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith wrote a good piece on how the Twitter dive reveals Clinton's fear that she faces a generational challenge heading into a possible 2016 presidential race:
So the new Clinton brand will be painfully, ostentatiously hip. This will be the late Hillary, her hair literally let down, dancing ecstatically in Africa. It will be a campaign of conference calls about hashtags — #tweetsfromhillary. And all that is the dressing on the one thing that makes her the plausible candidate of the future, and the feature — the same one that her 2008 campaign feared would make her seem weak — that represents her main path to victory in 2016: her possible status as the first woman president. That would be new, and its newness is why she could win.
Setting up the account is certainly a path toward forging the “new Clinton brand.” But the next step is to use it. Clinton needs to tweet early and often.
Most of all, though, Clinton should tweet to us. Twitter provides an effective and inexpensive medium for politicians to establish individual connections with voters. Replying to a tweet costs nothing but a few seconds of time. Yet it can help a candidate strengthen his or her connection with a voter in the same way that replying to a letter used to. Candidates -- even presumptive ones -- miss a big opportunity when they leave their Twitter feeds empty and their interactions unanswered.
After all, one thing that made the Tumblr "Texts from Hillary" so popular last spring was the idea of Clinton candidly communicating one-on-one with figures ranging from Meryl Strep to Sarah Palin. It personalized her. And now she has an incredible opportunity to expand upon that idea with herself at the controls.
Now, I’m not saying Clinton should tweet so often that we think she’s looking to be hired by Mashable instead of looking to launch a presidential campaign. But would tweeting two or three times a day (every day) be asking too much?
Maybe Clinton could weigh in on who she wants to portray her in an upcoming biopic, now that Carey Mulligan turned down the opportunity.
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