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Nancy '@SpeakerPelosi' Pelosi is running for minority leader? Get a new Twitter handle!

By Alexandra Petri

"Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting #hcr, #wsr, Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader," @SpeakerPelosi tweeted.

This is as good a time as any to point out that, win or lose, her twitter handle will have to change! Win -- well, it would have be @LeaderPelosi, but that's taken now. And @LeaderPelosi2 would just be adding insult to losing control of the House. Even @Exspeakerpelosi is taken already! And I tried to claim @TheLawmakerFormerlyKnownAsSpeakerPelosi, in case she wants a new name but also dignity, but apparently it's too many characters.

This is just one of the awkward landmines waiting to explode in our wired world. It's one thing to see pictures of your ex on Facebook in the arms of young and nubile houris. It's even worse when your ex is the American people.

Having your whole online identity dependent on something like that can be awkward! And when you keep getting twitter messages from people with handles like Sticklers08 demanding that you change your name to reflect the situation more accurately -- well, you get this horrible urge to run for leader, just to make it stop. This is the equivalent of listing your name on Twitter as @JeffsGirlfriend (which, I am sad to report, somebody has! Good luck, Jeff!). The only thing you can do if your relationship with Jeff falls apart is find another Jeff as quickly as you can -- or, failing that, someone with a name that sounds kind of important. Like, say, minority leader.

But @TheLawmakerFormerlyKnownAsSpeakerPelosi should take heart. There's precedent for this. This was actually a deleted scene in Richard II. After Bolingbroke forces Richard to abdicate and Richard toddles off to the Tower, but before the murderer tells him that Bolingbroke rode on his favorite horse Barbary, Richard is forced to destroy his @KingRichardII account on Twitter. It's really heartbreaking. In fact, the lines:

"Must he be depos'd?
The King shall be contented. Must he lose
The name of king? A God's name, let it go"

are referring to this!

But it can also be inspiring. The only reason President Cleveland served two terms was that he still had the @PresidentCleveland handle and didn't know what to do with it during the Harrison administration. Harrison was wasting his account -- he only tweeted twice, and both times it was simultaneously boring and anticlimactic. Cleveland tried to create @VenerableCitizenGroverCleveland, but the administrators told him it was too long, so he was left with no choice.

Fortunately, @SarahPalinUSA is safe from all this. Unless, of course, she's giving an impassioned speech at a rally somewhere and everyone around her is overcome and decides to secede on the spot. That would be awkward.

By Alexandra Petri  | November 5, 2010; 1:13 PM ET
Categories:  Only on the Internet, Petri, That's awkward  | Tags:  Nancy Pelosi, twitter  
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Comments

I clicked your link for pictures of my ex on Facebook and YOUR picture popped up. My God, was our marriage so traumatic that I can't even remember it?

I've been circling your house in my van all night trying to remember where I used to live, but all that it brings back are memories of our dog pooping on the neighbor's lawn in the middle of the night. Don't worry. I won't tell the neighbor whose dog it came from.

I almost had a fleeting glimpse of a memory of you in the shower, but some cop came by and arrested me and I blocked it out again.

divtune Div Tothetuneof
On my way to jail for first time and first time in back of cop car. #airbusa380tweets
9 years ago?

divtune Div Tothetuneof
Face just emergency landed on billy club after cop blew up when I tried to escape. Damn. #airbusa380tweets
15 years ago? favorite? reply? DELETE!

Posted by: divtune | November 5, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

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