Twitter and Trump: Marriage of man, message and machine

Twitter and Trump: Marriage of man, message and machine

(CNN)It was just after lunchtime the day after Barack Obama won re-election, and Donald Trump was about to try out a new line on Twitter. But when Trump took over, the feed became noticeably more aggressive. Over a thousand more would follow. But it marks a seminal moment in the marriage of man, message and machine that defied the laws of political physics and helped to make Trump the most powerful person on earth. Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Barack Obama each have close to three times as many followers. In the weeks after the election, his targets ranged from China to Joy Behar of "The View," adding to a Nixonian enemies list that the world could watch grow in real time. But he's creating a legal record for himself. "Every time he tweets, I am entertained. The presidents we remember took the existing communication tools of the day and made them their own. "My use of social media is not Presidential - it's MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL," he tweeted in July.

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(CNN)It was just after lunchtime the day after Barack Obama won re-election, and Donald Trump was about to try out a new line on Twitter.

He was hardly a novice on the microblogging site. Since @RealDonaldTrump announced itself to the world in 2009 with a plug to watch Trump read David Letterman’s Top Ten List, he had sent thousands of tweets — to promote his brands, roast celebrities and build a steady following with musings like “You never see a thin person drinking Diet Coke.”

Voters to Trump: Never Tweet
Voters to Trump: Never Tweet

“THe (sic) people at shouldtrumprun.com have got it right! How are our factories supposed to compete with China and other countries…” was one of the first tweets Trump sent with his own hands (and it failed to mention that shouldtrumprun.com was created by his own lawyer).

Peter Costanzo, a digital marketer with Trump’s publishing company, ran his account for the first eight months, often posting aspirational quotes pulled from the billionaire’s books. But when Trump took over, the feed became noticeably more aggressive.

In 2011, a few weeks after Barack Obama mocked him at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Trump launched his very first Twitter attack on the sitting President. Over a thousand more would follow. He tweeted his “birther” conspiracy theory more than 60 times before admitting the truth, yet during the 2012 election, none of it seemed to matter. Obama beat Mitt Romney easily. Around 2 p.m. the next day Trump tweeted the line that would change history.

Few noticed. Today the tweet has less than 1,500 likes. But it marks a seminal moment in the marriage of man, message and machine that defied the laws of political physics and helped to make Trump the most powerful person on earth.

With almost 36 million followers, @RealDonaldTrump is far from the most popular account on Twitter. Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Barack Obama each have close…

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