What was your first ever Tweet?
I bet it was something like: “Trying this whole Twitter thing out. Not really sure what to think.”
It was before you knew about hash tags, or tagging other people, and you were trying to pretend that you were still too cool for Twitter, and skeptical that it would ever last against other social media juggernauts like Facebook.
Not only has Twitter lasted, it’s become an accepted mechanism for social action. Awareness of certain issues is spread through a tweet; protests are carried out by means of trending tropics; and as of Monday morning, politicians have used it to launch their presidential campaigns.
“I’m running for president and I hope to earn your support!” wrote Republican Senator Ted Cruz, accompanied by a 30-second video, on his Twitter page just past midnight eastern time.
Not only was he the first to declare a presidential run on Twitter, he’s the first person to declare a presidential run, period, for 2016.
Cruz, 44, a first-term senator from Texas, is ultra conservative, a disciple of the Tea Party movement, and opposes abortion and same-sex marriage. Interestingly, he was born in Canada, but is allowed to run for president because he was considered a U.S. citizen at birth since his mother was a U.S. citizen and lived in the country for more than 10 years.
He’ll get his votes from conservative voters, but at the end of the day, as the New York Times pointed out, he’s a long shot, at best.
But as the underdog, declaring first may be a wise strategic maneuver because he gets first dibs on the publicity that comes with what’s sure to be a tumultuous 2016 election year.
Personally, I’d vote for a Chevrolet Cruze for president before I ever vote for Ted Cruz.
But who saw this coming, several years ago, that Twitter would become a credible tool for making major announcements? It was only a few years ago when EDM artist Deadmau5 proposed to his girlfriend, Kat Von D, via Twitter. They broke up six months later.
And now Ted Cruz uses it to tell us he’s running for president. It makes sense, in theory; the majority of Americans are on Twitter now, and it’s the easiest way to disseminate information in a contemporary, identifiable way. It’s just not very presidential.
But then again, Barack Obama did appear on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galiafanakis, so the standards for “presidential” have lowered somewhat.
What’s next? Are people going to announce their presidential bid on a blog?
Hmm… *thinks for a second*
OK. Ladies and gentlemen, I have an important announcement.
I have an in itch on the bottom of my foot.