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Colbert strong-arms Bill Clinton to join Twitter

Former president admits that he's afraid of being a friendless tweeter. Stephen Colbert takes care of his fears and creates @PrezBillyJeff.

He's now a tweeter.
Hulu Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Presidents want to be loved just like anyone else.

Actually, presidents want to be loved a lot more than anyone else, which is why they became politicians in the first place. Well, that and the money.

It was touching, therefore, to see President Bill Clinton appear with Stephen Colbert on "The Colbert Report" and admit he was afraid of not being loved. On Twitter, that is. How could the man who turned the last election with one speech fear that he would be left all alone, with just a little blue bird for company? The president admitted that he was on Facebook, but Twitter posed greater dangers.

"I think I'm sort of, so insecure," he began, when pressed on the subject of social networking. "What if you tweet and nobody tweets back? There's nothing worse than a friendless tweeter. You're wandering around in cyberspace."

Colbert is nothing if not a strong mind, coupled with a very strong arm.

He is also a great believer in liberty. So it was surely little surprise when he pulled out his iPhone and said: "Sir, I've taken the liberty of opening you a Twitter account."

Some might think that was slightly unethical. Still, the problems didn't stop there. Colbert explained that @presidentclinton was already taken, as was @williamjeffersonclinton.

But, joy of joys, @prezbillyjeff was miraculously available. Colbert had snapped it up on behalf of the man himself.

He then asked the president to dictate his first tweet.

The result was this: "Just spent an amazing time with Colbert! Is he sane? He is cool! #cgiu."

That last acronym stands, of course, for the Clinton Global Initiative University, the initial reason for Clinton's appearance on the show.

Currently, @prezbillyjeff has more than 50,000 followers. However, the president hasn't followed up with any more tweets.

Perhaps Colbert hasn't given him the password to the account yet.