Dear @POTUS… 17 Twitter Conversations With President Obama

"Dear Mr. President. There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three."


President Obama joined Twitter yesterday. Though many people assumed long-running account @BarackObama was actually the president—it's Twitter verified, after all—that handle is run, with his approval, by the nonprofit Organizing for Action. Obama himself will now purportedly be tweeting from @POTUS. Here's his first tweet: 



In 24 hours, the account has amassed 1.86 million followers and @POTUS has tweeted twice more: a photo of Obama visiting police in Camden, New Jersey, and a jokey reply to Bill Clinton. Behold the world we now live in, my friends: 


Just two dudes, chumming it up on Twitter! The "presidents: they're just like us!" aesthetic of it all creates a strange illusion of intimacy. Obama and Clinton are (like most of us on social media, to some extent) practically begging others to develop parasocial relationships. And if Twitter is particularly good at fostering these sorts of connections, it also, like the Internet more generally, invites another sort of mass delusion: 

It is the great democratizer; the global water cooler; the one place where you can say anything to anyone and know it'll be okay.

That's Caitlin Dewey at The Washington Post, who scoffs at such naivety: 

On the modern Internet, impressions of anonymity and ephemerality are, well … usually fake.

Case in point? After Barack Obama belatedly joined Twitter on Monday — in his official, presidential capacity — dozens of Twitter denizens began tweeting him sex jokes, threats and other unprintable inanities. (We counted nearly 500 tweets dropping f-bombs at POTUS in the past day.)

But the joke's actually on them: Not only does the Secret Service alreadymonitor Twitter for threats, but the White House is archiving each and every thing @POTUS tweeters say.

The @POTUS Twitter bio states this plainly: "Tweets may be archived:" But that hasn't stopped the folks of Twitter from going to town @POTUS anyway. Will they come to regret it? Only time will tell. For now, let's just enjoy the kinds of things people feel compelled to tweet at the president…

NEXT: Hillary Clinton Mocks Notion that She'll Answer Questions from the Press

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Fuck ’em all

  2. PS WALKER! You reslient bastard!

    /John Lithgow in “Cliffhanger”

    Nice Tweet 🙂

  3. fist me daddy

    I’m sure she meant first her.

    1. Either way, it all ends in tears.

  4. In Camden today, seeing first-hand how smart policing is making the community safer while building trust.

    Trolling Camden is always fun.

  5. Get Sheldon Walsh an onion for his belt.

  6. Behold! Let your banality ring out across time and space!

  7. So, how does this fit in with his disposition matrix?

  8. I prefer to read the that Clinton/Obama exchange with a particularly venomous subtext.

    1. I really don’t get what the joke is. Is he intimating that Bill will be FLOTUS? Or that Hillary will only ever be able to use the title FLOTUS?

      1. Probably the former, best read as a mean teenage girl veiled insult.

  9. I’m trying to think of a devastating hashtag that I could send the president. Just light him up with one small but unstoppable series of keystrokes…got it:


    Yep. That’s definitely the one.

  10. I think 7 states should be cut, so the total number can get back down to 50.

  11. Ok, here’s my chance. Could someone explain Twitter formatting to me?

    @potus @bloomberg Hey #Satan, its me JOHN IN MEXICO. Lets stay in touch, shall we? I am easy to find. You are 2, in #lakeoffire.

    So what am i looking at here… Is this a response to potus? Is it a double message to both “potus” and “Bloomberg”?

    What’s “#Satan”? Do other people looking for that hash tag automatically see this? Or is #Satan another Twitter user? Why did he hash tag “lake of fire”. Is that a meme?

    Please, I really, really don’t get Twitter.

    1. Here’s your problem: That’s clearly a crazy person so there’s nothing to really ‘get.’

    2. Hashtags are keywords, @ signs are other Twitter users.

      1. Ok. So every word with an @in a Twitter message means that user gets that message. How do the keywords work? I get their use in blogs, because they’ll help you search for posts after the fact. But Twitter is more instant and live. What’s the point of key wording Satan in this context?

        1. You can click it and see all the #Satan messages. It’s so you can follow a subject rather than a person or organization.

          1. So what’s the point of seeing every message with a Satan hash tag if it’s just a billion random messages without any continuity except containing the word “Satan”? Wouldn’t you hash tag something that was likely to follow into a particular and more narrow category?

            1. That’s kind of a bad example of what a hashtag is good for, being so broad. Most hashtags are more specific, so if you click on it, you really do see Tweets about that specific topic.

              1. Ok, so this thing I see where people are hash tagging seemingly irrelevant words are just people adding noise into the fray? Or are they attempting to start a trend? Is it the hash tagged words that become “trends” on Twitter, i.e.when some subject is noted as “trending”?

                1. Yes, that’s exactly what trending is. And hashtag spoofing is a troll sport.

            2. Now you’re getting it.

              1. Thanks for everyone’s help, and you too ENB. I need an ibuprofen.

                And yes, Twitter is as horrible as I suspected.

                1. Exactly why I canceled my ‘membership’ there….

              2. I’m just as lost and I’ve officially been on Twitter for at least 6 years.

        2. And do the multiple @ users automatically appear in a reply, as when I reply to a post in my neighborhood list serve (which I don’t understand, because my reply goes out to the list serve as a whole, so why does it need to be sent to each individual who ever replied in addition..unless people stop following a thread once they’ve replied and we want to knock on their door, so to speak, to say HEY I’M TALKING TO YOU!…what you talking to me? YOU TALKING TO ME!? but I digress…

    3. Probably a response to Bloomberg retweeting Potus, which makes it show up like that. Hashtags can be seen by other people by clicking on the hashtag, but anyone searching for “Satan” would see it regardless of whether there was a # before it or not. This seems to be a case where it’s just for dramatic flair. It’s also common to use them like a sort of “p.s.” at the end of a tweet.

    4. LMFAO. I have been wondering that same thing for EVER. Like standing in the liquor store buying my beer and the guy next to me in the lottery line is saying something rapid fire that I have no FUCKING clue even what language it is.

  12. “@bigblueonyou @VLADDO @POTUS I’m born in 66 am I a hipster ? If so fuck off my location is n while pages come get me ass hole”

    This guy…this guy gets it.

    1. If so fuck off my location is n while pages come get me ass hole”


      1. I’d love to see Paul vs. Clinton in 2016 solely for the aneurysm Dondero will have about who to vote for.

        1. Wouldn’t he just write in McCain?

          1. He’s always bitched about not “throwing your vote away.” Dondero was always little more than a “vote GOP” throatwarbler.

  13. I like the barbecue but the pizza chips are good too.

    WRONG. The corrects answer is original plain. The flavored ones are disgusting.

  14. There’s also this.

  15. How many times do you suppose Bill Clinton’s used the phrase “asking for a friend”?

  16. California, New York, Michigan

  17. Silly rabbit, tweets are for twits.

  18. I feel compelled to note that the “too many states nowadays” thing is a Simpsons reference.
    Sorry if everybody already knew that…

  19. Yes, POTUS has achieved Peak Twit.

  20. “Dear Mr. President. There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.”

    Then there are the people in the proposed state of Jefferson who want more states.

  21. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ??????

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.