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Let's see Clinton off the leash

THE Punt can be a little sceptical about Twitter at times. The microblogging site can be a fantastic service when used responsibly.

As we saw this week, though, when markets plunged after a tweet from the hacked account of the Associated Press about an attack on the White House, it can be dangerous when used irresponsibly.

Nevertheless, we were delighted to see Bill Clinton sign up to the site.

The former US president has been the subject of one parody account after another, but now that he is online for real, we look forward to reading his insights on the big issues of the day.

So far, so disappointing, however. He has apologised to TV host Stephen Colbert for not doing his show and mentioned that he is getting lessons on how to use the site from his daughter Chelsea, now a reporter for NBC.

The Punt would love to see Mr Clinton 'off the chain' on Twitter. Unlike many high-fliers, he seems to be tweeting himself, rather than have a staffer do it.

Despite his personal history, the former president is still great for copy and arguably the most popular of the living former presidents.

He's been pretty anodyne so far, but four tweets in he has nearly 350,000 followers.

Not a bad return.

Irish Independent