The mind behind "Monique's Mother" (a reference to the movie The First Wives Club) is Nick Walsh, a 30-year-old social-media manager at an entertainment marketing firm in Los Angeles. His other pastimes include selling mounted Beanie Baby heads and clocks made of old Hardy Boys hardcovers on Etsy. When I talk to him over FaceTime, the New Jersey native tells me that his online pop-star treatment of Clinton is an ironic hobby—something he does because he "likes the absurdity" of treating Clinton the way many online fans treat mega-stars such as Beyoncé or Taylor Swift. He's also a real-life fan of Clinton's, he tells me, and has been since before her 2008 campaign. It's less about the specifics of her record than about what he calls "the female aspect": "I would love to have a female president," he says. "I think that's awesome."
The impetus for Walsh's Twitter campaign was finding out that Clinton, in her own way, really did have something in common with those pop stars: She won a Grammy in 1997 for the audio version of her book It Takes a Village. Walsh tweeted about the Grammy in early May, complete with a photo of Clinton accepting the award, and said he was surprised by the positive response he got.
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Since then, Walsh has gone all in on his new hobby, and, despite his distaste for politics more generally, Clinton is now a regular part of his day. He has his phone set to get notifications each time she tweets, and, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Pacific time, he'll try to reply. He does it when he wakes up in the morning, when he's sitting in a meeting at work, when he's going about his day. (When he's busy, he keeps it to a quick, standard "QUEEN OF POP"; if he has more time on his hands, he'll get more creative, and perhaps even dip into the stock of Clinton photos and gifs he has amassed.) His primary motive seems to be getting noticed—by Clinton's Twitter haters, by her campaign, and by others on the social-media site. "I want them to look forward to my tweets," he says of Clinton's team. "I want them to be like, 'The "Queen of Pop" guy is tweeting again.'"Š" When I ask how long he'll keep it up, he replies: "Until I win a meet and greet with her."
When I ask how long he'll keep it up, he replies: "Until I win a meet and greet with her."
Walsh is hardly the first to find Clinton a figure ripe for ironic idolization (and Internet fun). Most famously, in 2012, the Tumblr blog Texts From Hillary used a now-iconic photo of Clinton wearing sunglasses while gazing down at her Blackberry to create a character who gives stone-cold replies to various celebrities and politicians. And that Hillary—rather than the one in the headband—left an imprint on a new generation of American voters. "Texts From Hillary was a turning point in that it kind of gave people a different way of looking at her," says Laura Olin, who ran social-media strategy for President Obama's 2012 campaign and now works with other Obama alums at the firm Precision Strategies.