Welcome “to the future,” Mr. President.
In an interview that aired Monday, late-night comedian Stephen Colbert welcomed Bill Clinton to the 21st century by introducing the former president to Twitter and helping him send his first tweet.
“I took the liberty of opening you a Twitter account,” Colbert during an interview taped over the weekend at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference. “Now President Clinton was taken, William Jefferson Clinton was taken, but Prez Billy Jeff was available.”
Together they tweeted a message dictated by Clinton (“Just spent amazing time with Colbert! Is he sane? He is cool! #cgiu), and since then, the account has amassed over 50,000 followers as of Tuesday morning. The @PrezBillyJeff account on Tuesday morning posted—and then later deleted—three tweets, all with the hashtag #notColbertpretendingtobeme in the typical Colbert Report sense of humor.
“I think I’m so, sort of insecure,” Clinton told Colbert about why he hadn’t yet taken to Twitter. “What if you tweet and nobody tweets back? There’s nothing worse than a friendless tweeter, right?”
Clinton, who held office from 1993-2001, told a technology conference in 2011 that he only sent two emails during his time as president, “One to our troops in the Adriatic, and one to John Glenn when he was 77 years old in outer space. I figured it was OK if Congress subpoenaed those,” Clinton reportedly said. According to FastCompany.com, Clinton added that when he took office, “there were about 50 sites on the Internet, and cell phones were so heavy that they were best used for bicep curls.”