Mitt Romney’s Secret Twitter Account Uncovered
by Nora Hogan
Staff Freshman Liason
Aside from being the world’s only strangely attractive Mormon Republican senator from Utah who actually hates Trump, Mitt Romney (who I call Mittens affectionately) is also apparently an internet lurker.
Last month, The Atlantic published a profile of Romney, one of the few high-profile Republican lawmakers that have criticized President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic rivals. Trump’s attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election through foreign interference has recently launched an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats. After the article was published in The Atlantic, Trump lashed out online, attacking Romney in a series of tweets that included the hashtag “#IMPEACHMITTROMNEY.”
In the profile, Romney revealed the existence of his secret Twitter account to the piece’s author, McKay Coppins. The Utah Senator admitted to using the profile “to keep tabs on the political conversation” and to occasionally defend himself online.
Initially, he refrained from disclosing the name of the account, but instead revealed the number of accounts he follows (702) and outlined the types of users that he follows. After this information was publicly published, speculation swirled online as to what Romney’s covert online identity would reveal, until a writer for Slate, Ashley Feinberg, took it upon herself to unearth the secret profile. After scouring the public Twitter profiles of the Romney family tree, Feinberg struck gold while scrolling through the followers of Romney’s oldest grandchild, Allie Romney. She found Twitter user @qaws9876, also known as Pierre Delecto. Once Feinburg conducted a thorough stalking of the profile and its followers, she was entirely certain that Pierre was Romney.
According to Feinburg’s research, Pierre’s online presence was born in 2011, exactly one month after Romney announced his 2012 presidential run. His first follower was Romney’s eldest son, Tagg. The account then followed all of the Romney children, grandchildren (ultimate clout grandpa) and several of his former advisors, in addition to political commentators, politicians, late-night show hosts like Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon and former NFL players such as Tom Brady and Brett Favre.
It became evident that this user was indeed Mittens, as no normal person would ever follow more than four Mitt Romney fan accounts at one time. Additionally, although his tweet count is low (10 tweets total), Pierre has sagely replied to a variety of Romney-related commentary over the years. He most recently responded in May to Jennifer Rubin, a conservative blogger at The Washington Post, who called Romney’s strategy on Trump’s “non-confrontation verging on spinelessness,” to which Pierre replied: “Jennifer, you need to take a breath. Maybe you can then acknowledge the people who agree with you in large measure even if not in every measure.” (Sacré bleu!) Needless to say, Pierre is no stranger to the art of the roast.
After Feinburg published her findings, Coppins followed up with Romney to verify the allegations, to which Mitt simply responded: “C’est Moi.” Since then the account has been made private, but the screenshots live on. In essence, if Mitt Romney can tell us anything, he reminds us through Pierre that we can all be our own hype men. Sometimes you just gotta be a stan for yourself.