Former President George H. W. Bush applauds during an event at the White House on July 15, 2013.
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

#Welcome: President George H.W. Bush joins Twitter

Updated

Former President George H.W. Bush took the social media plunge Tuesday, joining Twitter.

In his first tweet, the 89-year-old Republican (and trendsetting sock-wearer) praised the late Nelson Mandela and expressed regret at not being able to attend the memorial service.

The president’s spokesman Jim McGrath and his grandson, Pierce, confirmed the handle @GeorgeHWBush indeed belongs to the 41st president. The account has been tagged with a blue verification check mark.

The long plane ride to South Africa reportedly kept Bush senior back in the states, while President Obama and the other living exes – Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush – all made the journey.

Only three of the five living presidents are on Twitter. His son, George W. Bush, and Carter remain theTwitter holdouts.

Two days before Mandela died, Bush 41 wrote a more old-fashioned tribute to the South Africa icon for the Huffington Post. It was more than 140 characters.

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#Welcome: President George H.W. Bush joins Twitter

Updated