Bill Clinton joins Twitter with help from Stephen Colbert
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Former President Bill Clinton officially joined the Twitterverse on Wednesday night after weeks of prodding by a famous friend.
Clinton typed out his first tweet from the handle @BillClinton during a satellite appearance on "The Colbert Report." The tweet read, "Excited to join @ChelseaClinton and my good friend @StephenAtHome on Twitter!"
Although it was Clinton's first time hitting the tweet button himself, it was not the first time his account got some action.
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During an on-air appearance on the show weeks earlier, Stephen Colbert took the liberty of setting up a Twitter account for Clinton under the handle @PrezBillyJeff. Clinton dictated to Colbert what he'd like the tweet to say and the comedian tweeted out on behalf of Bubba: "Just spent amazing time with Colbert! Is he sane? He is cool! ?#cgiu?"
The Colbert-Clinton combo tweet generated more than 9,500 retweets and 7,000 favorites, but the account remained stagnant until Colbert played Twitter guru to Clinton again.
During a bit on the show Wednesday, Colbert tweeted at the former president to ask why "Prez Billy Jeff" had not made a peep since its creation. Minutes later, Clinton appeared via satellite to announce he had changed his handle to sound more official and finally was ready to dive in.
"I've been planning on launching my Twitter page for quite a while, but now that you've primed the pump I'm really ready to go," Clinton told Colbert during the brief appearance.
Then Clinton pulled out his BlackBerry to reach out to his tweeps himself for the first time.
When Colbert previously asked Clinton why he wasn't already using the social media platform, the former commander in chief voiced a common concern. Like many reluctant tweeters, Clinton said he wasn't sure what to tweet about or how to build his following.
"There's nothing worse than a friendless tweeter," Clinton lamented.
There was no need for concern. After Wednesday's show, the account has been verified and boasts more than 390,000 followers as of midday Thursday.
On Thursday afternoon, Clinton remained active by sending out a twitpic of himself with the four other living presidents at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas.
As a Chappaqua resident, the former president might consider adding @NewsdayNY to that list to get up-to-the-minute news on Westchester County.