Earlier today, McKay Coppins of the Atlantic published a long profile in Mitt Romney, apparently part of Romney's effort to become the noble Republican foil for an out-of-control president. These types of tracks, which are more about storytelling than anything else, usually don't contain much new information, but there was one notable exception. Around the middle, the usually-guarded senator revealed that just like a colleague, the lone voice of scout James Komi, he owns a secret Twitter account.
At one point, while Coppins asked him about Trump's hashtag #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY which he was tweeting to be earlier this month, Romney said this:
"That's what he does," Romney said with a shrug and then got up to get the iPad out of his desk. He explained that he was using a secret Twitter account – "What do they call me, MP ?" – to maintain sections of the political conversation. "I'm not going to give you my name," he said, but "I'm following 668 people." Sliding his tablet, he recites some of the bills he follows, including late-night comedians ("What's his name, the big redhead from Boston?" ) and athletes. Trump was not among them. "He tweets so much ," Romney said, comparing the president to one of his nieces, who takes to Instagram. "I love her, but it's all the same, Ah, she's too much ."
In other words, a wealth of information that would be very useful for anyone hoping to secretly discover the Twitter hideout of the senator. – or more precisely for me. The odds seemed high that Romney, a famous family man, would like to hold dents for his offspring. And as luck would have it, Romney has many offspring.
Not all five of his sons have public Twitter accounts, and some of them, like the creepy Tagg have too many followers to digest. However, Romney's eldest granddaughter, Ali Romney Cricklow, has only 481 followers, making digging them an annoying but impossible feat. As I rolled around, focusing on those who seemed to be trying to conceal my true identity, one in particular caught my eye.
Reader, meet Twitter user @ qaws9876 otherwise known as PIerre Delecto.
This account joined the site in July 2011, just one month after Romney announced his application for president. Most of the people who follow are either political reporters, politicians, political operatives, or robbers. Although a big redhead from Boston Conan O'Brien is also noticed. Pierre Delecto seems to be a fan of late hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, as well as current and former NFL players Tom Brady and Brett Favre.
Pierre Delecto is currently following 702 accounts, which is just over 668 Romney admitted to Coppins, but it is certainly possible to follow 30 additional accounts over several weeks, especially for a user who appears to have recently upgraded hers Twitter activity.
The first follow-up to Pierre Delecto's account is the oldest Romney scion Tagg, joined shortly after by Glen Johnson, current policy editor for Boston.com, who was firmly on Romney's rhythm when the account was originally created. Next up was Mark DeMos, who in 2012 named the Salt Lake Tribune as "unpaid advisor to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign for the last five years," and Eric Fernstrom, who still has a "former @ MitRomney advisor "In his Twitter bio .
Overall, the bill follows all you can expect someone like Mitt Romney to follow. There are the late Charles Krauthammer, the late John McCain, Larry Kudlow, Rupert Murdoch, Bill Christol, Matt Shap, and – none other than Peggy Nunan. In addition, all the people you would expect someone who is exactly Mitt Romney to follow him. There are all Romney children available, number number of former Romney advisers and assistant ( as lot ), and quite a few reporters who directly covered Romney or his various campaigns (such as Ashley Parker, Matt Visser, Philip Rucker, Stephen Peoples, and Coppins himself, all of whom were in the Roma lifestyle in 2012, along with others).
Then, there are accounts that it's hard to imagine anyone but Mitt Romney who follows. There is this seemingly random person who managed to drop the handle of @SenRomney Twitter Romney parody account @AltPresRomney and various fan-managed accounts like @ NY4Mitt and @ MittRomney_2016 . There is also an apparently official (based on the fact that the first person to follow him is Romney's former digital director), though he never used (sent only one tweet) an account @Mitt_NH . Our Pierre Delecto was the 23rd person to follow this account, almost directly after he was followed by the official @TeamRomney account and just before a number of reporters jump on board, which seems to indicate some sort of head-up. There is also John Moe, a Utah photographer who took family photos of the extended Romney clan. He also tweets this:
The eight followers of Pierre Delecto look like most of any casual account it can build up on Twitter if it has been around the site long enough. The only notable exception here is his latest follower, @ Darlin1Patience . As @ Darlin1Patience's account is private, there is no easy way to see everyone who is currently following. However, a little digging into some of the Mith neighboring accounts reveals that @ Darlin1Patience follows follows several lesser-known members of the Romney family, such as Craig Romney who has just over 3300 followers and most Romney Ali's granddaughter, Ali Romney, with just under 500 followers. Back then, it is certainly remarkable that @ Darlin1Patience, who only follows 194 people at the time of publication, also follows Pierre Delecto.
Then we have the tweets. Pierre only tweeted 10 times in total and all were replies to other tweets – certainly the kind of behavior one might expect from a self-described "lurker". The first Tweet of the account, which comes four years after its initial registration, was a show of disappointment at Fox News, since a poll for the president of New Hampshire has not yet taken place.
Mitt Romney was living in New Hampshire at the time.
The following tweet appeared only in May this year, when Pierre was moved to indicate to a Bloomberg reporter that he had forgotten to include Romney in a list of senators who adhered to Richard Burr.
Then there was a tweet to fellow Romney Sen. Dick Durbin whom Pierre casually refers to as "Dick", followed by a series of tweets defending Mitt Romani Honor.