If she just wanted to retire to the easy life, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be on Twitter.
Who exactly are @ASmith83 and @Sllambe? They are the geniuses behind “Texts from Hillary” who created the brilliant memes that transformed Hillary from a cool Secretary of State to a kick-ass pantsuit-wearing superhero.
Hillary follows only four people – her husband, her daughter, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. But more than 60,000 people were already following her just a few hours after she tweeted.
Hillary’s own profile description is fiercely witty. “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…” By using the the now iconic profile picture — the hip Hillary in sunglasses looking at her Blackberry – she connects with younger voters who know her more from memes than politics.
Her Twitter bio also hits several key voting groups: Wives, moms, lawyers, progressives who like women and kids, Arkansans, dog owners and fashionistas. And what a tease, Hillary is, by leaving us hanging with a TBD. But we all know what that is, right? She’s running for president in 2016.
The fact that Hillary and her social media team are willing to be less-than-serious in describing the former first lady shows how far she’s come since her presidential run in 2008. Then, it seemed highly possible for Hillary to crack the glass ceiling but not a joke. She was portrayed as an ice queen who didn’t like media or rope lines. And she lost to Barack Obama who embraced both.
But Obama gave her a gift – the job as Secretary of State. She used it to work her way out of Bill Clinton’s shadow and the lingering disappointment of losing the presidency. The world became wooed by Hillary. Photographs were taken of her laughing – and dare, I say, flirting a bit – with world leaders. She danced in South Africa and Columbia and enjoyed a drink or two while talking tough on diplomacy. She became her own woman, and the world cheered.
Then the talk began – not that it really ever stopped – that she should run for president again. And if she did, she would win. Her favorability ratings soared for weeks after she left the Secretary of State’s position. Republicans terrified by the possibility of a Hillary presidency tried hard to undermine that popularity by dredging up the Benghazi controversy.
And maybe that worked. According to CNN on Monday, three national polls over the past two weeks indicate her favorable rating is dropping. Still, as CNN notes, she is still “firmly in positive territory.”
With the Clintons, nothing is accidental, and their timing is always impeccable. Monday’s launch of Hillary’s Twitter account is classic Clintonian. No one will pay attention to the dip in polls because everyone will be discussing Hillary’s next tweet. The more she tweets, the more popular she becomes in this 21st century world of social media addiction.
If she’s really smart (and we know that she is), she’ll launch an Instagram account next so we can see what she eats for breakfast.
Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt” and “1000 Best Bartender’s Recipes.” She writes frequently for Reuters, TakePart, and numerous other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker.