Presidential Hashtags Through the Years


#Bravery Requires No Action That Might Endanger Me

While our brave president’s brave wife using hashtag diplomacy to pressure Boko Harum to release the 250 Nigerian schoolgirls they have kidnapped may seem novel, in reality hashtags have a long and storied career in U.S diplomacy.

The first known use of a hashtag is credited to Alexander Hamilton, who shortly after his duel with Aaron Burr created the hashtag, #Ouch.

“As he was being rowed back to Manhattan after the duel witnesses saw him write that on a paper” said a historian of the Hamilton-Burr duel.  The#Ouch hashtag became something of a craze and was often used by Lewis and Clark while shooting Indians.

When the British burned Washington D.C during the War of 1812, President James Madison created the hashtag #Can You Burn Philadelphia Next?

“The hashtag was very popular and was seen as an example of Madison’s plucky sense of humor” according to one of his biographers.

Philadelphians didn’t appreciate it and countered with the hashtag #Shut Up Shorty.

In 1841 newly-elected Whig President William Henry Harrison popularized the #Wh hashtag.

Presidential historians have often debated as to the meaning of #Wh with the most common theory being that he died before he could write the rest.

The Civil War was something of a high water mark in the history of American hashtags.

Abraham Lincoln is perhaps best known for his #I Hate the Theater hashtag.  Confederate president Jefferson Davis had #Bring Back Our Slaves while Stonewall Jackson had #Night Reconnaissance is a bad idea and Ulysses S. Grant of course popularized the simple yet eloquent, #Whiskey!

After the Civil War the practice of using hashtags fell into desuetude until World War II when, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR started the #Whoops Didn’t See That One Coming hashtag.

Harry Truman had #Just Drop the Bomb, Baby.

Lyndon Johnson had #Land War in Asia?  What Could go Wrong?

Richard Nixon’s hashtag of #Pardon Me led directly to Gerald Ford’s #You Sure I Won’t Pay For This in the Polls?

But the king of hashtags had to be Bill Clinton.  Some of his more famous ones include #Suck It, #Impeach This! and #Bring Back Some Young Girls.  Admittedly this wasn’t as eloquent as Michell Obama’s #Bring Back Our Girls but it got the job done.

And that brings us to the current occupant of the Oval Office, Barack Obama whose two most famous hashtags are #Definitely Not From Kenya and #Redistribute It!

As for the 45th President Hillary Clinton she has already made #What Difference Does it Make her official hashtag.

So you see,  hashtagging has a long and proud tradition in American politics.

I will leave you with Joe Biden’s official hashtag for his 2016 run:  #Where The Hell Am I?


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