During the six-plus years Barack Obama has occupied the Oval Office, if you have found yourself tweeting to the account of @BarackObama with a question, or grievance you hoped he could resolve, today you may be learning that those tweets were not actually sent to the 44th president.
On Monday, President Obama joined the Twittersphere officially as @POTUS. Previously the president mass communicated his 140-character messages via the official White House communications account (@WhiteHouse) or the @BarackObama account. The latter account has over 59 million followers, and is the Twitter account for the non-profit organization named Organizing for Action (OFA), which Mr. Obama and his political supporters started during his campaigns, reports The Washington Post.
Shortly after his second inauguration, the president quietly handed over all of his social media accounts to OFA, which set off an online identity crisis of sorts, The Atlantic reported. Some of the issues that had to be balanced were that even though the president's name was listed as a verified account, it was campaign staffers who tweeted on Obama's behalf. When Obama would tweet with this account he would sign his message with the signature "BO."
This was made all the more murky after the inauguration when OFA staffers took the social media reigns but it was confusing because the account could not endorse any specific candidate due to its non-profit designation, according to The Atlantic.
The president wasted little time making his presence known on Twitter, and he already has nearly two million followers. The account is designed to be the president's official Twitter account, but no word yet if he'll share the login credentials to his successor once his tenure ends.
The tweeters at the controls of both the @WhiteHouse account and @BarackObama also sent out the obligatory welcome to the Twittersphere, although @POTUS did not believe it was necessary to titularly follow himself back.
Here are some of the welcoming tweets users sent to the president.
One user apparently had been waiting a long time for this day.
Some of the other notable follows Obama decided to add on his first day on Twitter were the accounts of all his policy advisors and heads of administrative agencies, as well as the government agencies they head. He also followed the first lady, vice president and Mrs. Biden, and UN Ambassador Samantha Power.
More notably the president also followed the accounts of his native Chicago's professional sports teams including the Bears of the National Football League, the Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, the Bulls of the National Basketball Association, and the White Sox of Major League Baseball.
One well-noted omission was the White Sox' cross-town rival the Cubs. The president is a diehard White Sox fan and usually sports a Sox hat when he is invited to throw out ceremonial first pitches. The snub was not lost on the Cubs, however.
NBC Sports' Pro Hardball Talk speculated on the source of Obama's dislike of the Cubs. It was less about baseball and more about politics. Tom Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, is also the patriarch of the Ricketts Family, who own the Cubs. While Obama was running for president, Mr. Rickets spent millions on various projects in attemping to defeat Obama's presidential bids, The New York Times reported.
Whatever the source of the president's distaste of Chicago's "Loveable Losers," now that there are no more campaigns to run, perhaps Obama will let bygones be bygones and give the Cubbies a follow when he leaves the White House.