US President Barack Obama has made digital history as he became the first commander-in-chief to “tweet” a message on the social networking site, though with a little bit of help.
When Obama stopped at the headquarters of the American Red Cross' to promote aid to Haiti Monday, a member of the agency's new media team wrote a message on Twitter.com telling people he had arrived, CNN reported.
“President Obama and the first lady are here visiting our disaster operation centre right now,” the Red Cross staffer wrote.
The new media staffer then asked the president to hit “Update” on the screen and Obama posted the item himself under the @RedCross handle at Twitter.com.
A moment later the Red Cross staffer posted a follow-up tweet: “President Obama pushed the button on the last tweet. It was his first ever tweet!”
White House aides told CNN they believe it is Obama's first-ever tweet. During the presidential campaign, the Obama team used the @BarackObama account to send out quick messages in the then-senator's voice, but he did not physically post the items himself, a disappointment to some of his techie supporters.
And after the @BarackObama account took a brief respite after the 2008 election, Gawker.com poked fun by saying his followers had been “Twittered into contributing money and time, and then passed over for more presidential means of communication. Like, say, press conferences.”
Aides to former President George W. Bush told CNN that he never published a tweet, and they were happy to crown Obama as the first tweeting President – with a catch.
“Welcome to Twitter, Mr. President – I'll follow you if you follow me,” Tony Fratto, a former Bush spokesman, joked to CNN by e-mail.