Culture

Clinton to W: You're not on Twitter? W to Clinton: You're not on Instagram?

As if to prove that they are the two hippest, down-with-the-peeps ex-presidents around, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton enjoy a little mutual socially networked ribbing.

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Bill Clinton began the social-media goading. But it didn't end there. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If I were an ex-president, I'd play a lot of golf and ignore much of the world.

Strangely, though, some ex-presidents already did that when they were presidents. So they have to find other venues for personal entertainment.

It was inevitable, therefore, that two recent ex-presidents would be sucked into the vortex of social media like fingernail clippings into a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Yesterday, they enjoyed a little sparring as to which social medium a really cool ex-president ought to inhabit.

It all began with Bill Clinton commenting on George W. Bush's new book "41: A Tribute to My Father," about George H.W. Bush, the 41st president. Clinton sent a tweet that read: "Received my copy of #41 by #43, George W. Bush. Touching tribute!" He added: "#HowAreYouSTILLNotOnTwitter" and "#PresidentialTweeters."

This was surely the modern-day equivalent of asking George W. Bush to choose his weapon. Naturally, Bush 43 chose a weapon of mass instruction.

For he went onto Instagram to offer his riposte. It read: "Thanks, 42! Hope you like the book about your pal, #41. #HowAreYouSTILLNotOnInstagram #PresidentialGrammers #BrotherFromAnotherMother."

Naturally, intellectuals of all hues will attempt to elicit meaning from this exchange. Could it be that President Clinton prefers Twitter because of his utter mastery of words, whereas President Bush opts for Instagram because, being a painter, he's partial to the visual?

And what do we make of their being brothers from another mother? Is this a suggestion that their politics are really more similar than some might believe? Is there an implication that they are kindred spirits in their ability to navigate the murky waters of social media and emerge unsullied?

Perhaps, though, this exchange merely presages the next desperate two years when these two other-mother-brothers may be forced to troll each other in the quest for renewed familial power.

It is possible that on the one side will be Bill Clinton's wife Hillary running for president. On the other may be W's brother from the same mother, Jeb.

I foresee vicious cartoons and other works of art posted to Instagram by George W. Bush. I imagine a cutting quiver of quips posted to Twitter by Bill Clinton.

These two men are clearly putting their boots on the ground and staking out their territory now. The 2016 election will be fought not through MSNBC and Fox.

It will be Twitter vs. Instagram. Bill vs. W for the W.

(Via Business Insider)