Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

Hillary Clinton's First Tweet Shows What She Fears Most

Can Hillary be a candidate of the future? The generational challenge.

Posted on June 10, 2013, at 4:47 p.m. ET

If you want to know what Hillary Clinton is worried about, take a look at her first real political move since leaving office.

Clinton Monday launched her Twitter feed — pre-leaked a week earlier

to Politico by a staff that has shown no familiarity with the social web — with some of the most studied jokes in the history of the internet, riffing on a meme — Texts from Hillary — that's more than a year old. The message of the image, the studied colloquialism and pantsuit jokes, and the idea was simple: "I'm not old."

Clinton approached her 2008 campaign with the same single-minded focus. Then, she and her pollster, Mark Penn, determined that her biggest vulnerability was that, as a woman, she would not be perceived as strong enough to lead. The permanent campaign's obsession with strength helped produce her vote to authorize the Iraq War, and it determined her refusal to apologize for it. And while she lost the war, she won the battle: Who thinks Hillary Clinton isn't tough enough.

The new dagger at Clinton's heart is generational. Even in 2008, Barack Obama won in part by promising to "turn the page" on the Clintonian past, and to welcome a new generation. In 2016, Hillary Clinton will face an electorate that includes people who were born just as Monica Lewinsky was becoming a household name, to whom the Clinton years are a kind of hazily positive past — the sort of film-reel history that Watergate represented in Bill Clinton's election.

The painstaking Twitter rollout is the digital representation of that neurosis.

And the generational threat remains the main one to Hillary Clinton. Cory Booker's likely ascent to the Senate in 2013 puts him, as one ally said, on a plausible, if perhaps unlikely, path to Iowa. A more clear and present danger is Marco Rubio, who grew up listening to hip-hop artists Bill Clinton was wagging his index finger at.

So the new Clinton brand will be painfully, ostentatiously hip. This will be the late Hillary, her hair literally let down, dancing ecstatically in Africa. It will be a campaign of conference calls about hashtags — #tweetsfromhillary. And all that is the dressing on the one thing that makes her the plausible candidate of the future, and the feature — the same one that her 2008 campaign feared would make her seem weak — that represents her main path to victory in 2016: her possible status as the first woman president. That would be new, and its newness is why she could win.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.