May 3rd, 2010
02:46 PM ET
13 years ago

First lady's first tweet


CNN's Ed Henry helps first lady Michelle Obama - with Jay Leno and Robert Gibbs - send out her first tweet. (PHOTO CREDIT: Erika Dimmler/CNN)

Washington (CNN) - It was my first chance to spend some quality time at dinner with First Lady Michelle Obama, so I decided to do what my pal Ali Velshi would probably do in the same situation: get her hooked on Twitter.

I was sitting with the first lady and Jay Leno at the head table for Saturday night's White House Correspondents Association Dinner because I'm a member of the association's board, a front-row seat to the slew of celebrities who walked up to gawk at Mrs. Obama and the president, who was a few seats from me.

Teen sensation Justin Beiber, famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian, comedian Chevy Chase and actor Morgan Freeman all walked up to the rope line separating the head table from the rest of the ballroom to send the first couple a shout-out.

I was snapping pics of the celebrity parade on my iPhone and posting them to my Twitter account, @edhenrycnn, during dessert, just a few minutes before the president and Leno would take their turns at telling some jokes.

Leno, a social media skeptic, finally turned to me with squinted eyes and said in a conspiratorial tone, "Are you tweeting right now?"

I confessed to Leno that I was, sparking Mrs. Obama to ask me whether journalists find value in social media or whether it's mostly trivial. I said I find it helpful to get feedback, good and bad, from people who follow my tweets.

When Mrs. Obama mentioned that she had never tweeted, I noted that the president had sent out his first tweet a few months ago from a Red Cross account to promote relief to Haiti and wondered aloud: "Why don't you send out your first tweet on my iPhone?"

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Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. tcaros

    TWITTER like AOL was.. is the new data mining tool for the intelligence services.

    Go ahead everyone.. post stuff about yourself on TWITTER and FACEBOOK.

    May 3, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Wanda

    Desperate for news today?????? Who cares? There are more imprtant things on peoples minds today. People are loosing their lives and this junk about tweets makes the news. Sad.

    May 3, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. DIANA

    Now that's Democracy – they let Kim Kardashi in. Why?! Did she crash?

    May 3, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Eric

    Twitter is even more dumb than Facebook, and FB reaches new heights of dumb.

    It's time to put an end to "everyman as celebrity."

    May 3, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |

    The first lady looked stunning on Saturday. She and her family are a class act.

    May 3, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. stevegee

    That's the problem with Washington - they spend too much time tweeting, and not enough time listening to the American people.

    After November, all the Democrats will be out of a job. Perhaps Twitter will be hiring.

    May 3, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Hawaiian Girl

    I love it! Go FLOTUS!

    May 3, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Yo Ed! Didn't anyone teach you how to tie a tie? Yours is WAY too long! Check out Gibbs' tie. It's pretty much at the belt buckle. The PR man got it right.

    May 3, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Bill in California

    SORRY CNN, this piece does NOT belong on the POLITICAL TICKER. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside though.

    May 3, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. Obama the liar

    ..and the tweet was -for the 2nd time in my life, i am proud to be an American.

    May 3, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |