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George W. Bush Joins Facebook (Update)

This morning, former president George W. Bush jumped into the social media fray by joining Facebook. And his page is exploding in popularity: Whereas just an hour and a half ago, the Huffington Post reported that Bush had 560 ‘Likes,’ as of press, he’s got more than 12,000, with his count increasing by a few hundred after every few minutes’ refresh.

But if you’re expecting a joky, unbuttoned, Will Ferrell-style Facebook presence from #43, you may be disappointed:

Update: Bush has also joined Twitter as @George_WBush. Why the confusing underscore?

Update2: It’s not actually him, sry.

Thus far, the page has been pretty official, promoting Bush’s upcoming book, Decision Points, his wife’s memoir, Spoken From the Heart, and such causes as the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund.

His first post, via Politico:

“Since leaving office, President Bush has remained active,” says the page’s first post. “He has visited 20 states and 8 countries; given over 65 speeches; launched the George W. Bush Presidential Center; participated in 4 policy conferences through The Bush Institute; finished the first draft of his memoir, ‘Decision Points’; and partnered with President Clinton to establish the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. More on his activities in future posts. …”

While a quick scan of Bush’s wall reveals anti-Bush sentiment, calling him, for instance, “the worst president since Nixon,” overall, comments are surprisingly positive: “Mr. President. Thanks for keeping us safe. We’re glad you and Mrs. Bush are in Dallas, we’re looking forward to your book, and we can’t wait for your library to be built,” reads one comment. “Mr. President great to have you on board. Thanks for keeping us safe. You were a good president and an example that our children could look up to. Thanks for setting a great example of how former presidents should carry themselves when out of office,” reads another. In addition to promoting Bush’s various causes, Bush’s page could serve as a gathering place for largely moderate Bush well-wishers. Given the extreme polarization present throughout the political blogosphere and on the Facebook pages of certain other American political figures, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

George W. Bush’s Facebook page.

(via @Slate)

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