Is This the First Fake Twitter Feed in the History of Presidential Campaigns?

After Obama surrogate Bill Clinton praised Mitt Romney's business record, the Romney campaign creates an outlet for his words.

fakeclinton.banner.screenshot.jpg

Updated, 5:50 p.m.

It's a milestone we didn't even know we hadn't passed yet: the first fake Twitter account in the history of presidential campaigns (at least as far as we can tell).*

Following several appearances in which Bill Clinton made glowing remarks about Mitt Romney's career in business -- seeming to undercut the Obama attack against the Republican's Bain Capital record -- the Romney campaign created the @Bill_Clinton12 handle to broadcast some of those comments. They even sent out a press release calling attention to the feed.

It's a witty and innovative use of social media, although it might have been more powerful if it had been rolled out before a Monday night fundraiser where Clinton said a Romney presidency "would be, in my opinion, calamitous for our country and the world." It's a fair bet you won't see that comment anywhere on the new Twitter feed.

The likely mastermind of the fake handle: top Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom, who's a prolific tweeter in his own right. Last year, a fake account for "Crazy Khazei" parodied Alan Khazei, a Democrat then vying for the nomination to run against Senator Scott Brown, another Fehrnstrom client (Khazei later dropped out in favor of Elizabeth Warren). That account was anonymous -- until Fehrnstrom accidentally sent a tweet intended to be from Crazy Khazei from his personal account.

__

*Twitter ninja Zeke Miller points out that the Romney campaign actually has done this before, with fake accounts tweeting statements that Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz made in 2008.

Presented by

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In