Hillary Clinton's Debut On Twitter Cranks Up Speculation About 2016

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, Oct. 18, 2011.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, Oct. 18, 2011.  (A2011)

She’s only posted one tweet, and a rather mundane one at that.

But the debut this week of Hillary Clinton on Twitter is causing a stir among those dabbling in 2016 presidential election speculation.

The questions abound on social media. Is she on Twitter because she’s laying the groundwork for a run for the presidency? What did she mean by ending her mini-bio with TBD, a reference to "to be determined" – a little wink and a nod about her 2016 plans? And why did her list of self-modifiers begin with “wife?”

By Wednesday afternoon, she had racked up just over 438,000 followers.

Her debut won praise from supporters as well as some critics for its humor.

She described herself with a dash of humor as a "pantsuit aficionado" and a "hair icon." For her profile picture she posted the now famous image of herself wearing shades and seemingly absorbed in something she was reading or watching on her cell phone.

Clinton's biography also proudly describes her as a "mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner" and "glass ceiling cracker." 

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd noted: “Now Hillary’s looking cool on Twitter, in her shades, with her first tweet heard round the world garnering 366,000 followers in 24 hours, a faster start than her husband and Pope Francis.”

“The candidate-in-waiting’s debut even disarmed conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who tweeted: ‘I have to commend @HillaryClinton for her very awesome Twitter bio. Welcome to Twitter.’”

Clinton did well with Latino voters in the 2008 Democratic primary. Hispanics voted for Clinton over then-Sen. Barack Obama by a margin of nearly two-to-one, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of exit polls.

The popularity among Latino voters is especially significant given the role the group played in the 2012 elections, when they were 10 percent of the people who turned out at the polls. Some 71 percent of Latinos voted for Obama, compared with 27 percent who supported the GOP challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. 

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll earlier this year showed that Clinton was the favorite candidate among Hispanics for the presidential election in 2016. Clinton was viewed positively by 65 percent of Hispanics; just 13 percent gave her a negative rating. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican considered a contender for 2016, was viewed positively by 23 percent, and negatively by 12 percent.

The former New York senator and first lady sent out her first tweet under the handle (at)HillaryClinton, thanking the creators of the popular online parodies called "Texts from Hillary." Clinton's initial tweet thanked Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe for their inspiration and said, "I'll take it from here," concluding with a hashtag (hash)tweetsfromhillary.

Twitter quickly opened up the cyber welcome mat for Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton, who joined Twitter in April after some nudging from comedian Stephen Colbert, welcomed his wife, asking, "Does (at)Twitter have a family share plan?" Daughter Chelsea Clinton retweeted her mother's first tweet and added, "Welcome Mom!"

Supporters and opponents alike tweeted out messages to her handle, with some encouraging her to run for president. Well-wishers included several politicians, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, country music star Chely Wright and actor Ben Affleck. Rocker Tommy Lee tweeted, "Welcome to Tweeeeeeeeter Hillary!"

Obama's Twitter account said the president was "happy" to welcome Clinton to Twitter. "Stay tuned for the real hashtag (hash)TweetsFromHillary," the president told his 32 million followers.

Twitter could become an effective medium for Clinton, who has kept a relatively low profile since departing the State Department earlier this year. Obama used Twitter throughout his re-election campaign to connect with his millions of followers and urge them to support his campaign.

Teddy Goff, a Democratic strategist who served as the Obama re-election campaign's digital director, said Clinton's first tweet and Twitter bio "suggested someone who's more interested in building genuine relationships with her fans than in being blandly 'on message' in the traditional, political sense of the term."

"That sort of relationship is what fuels social media, and the politicians who use it well are those who understand that, as she appears to," Goff said in an e-mail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.