An off-handed comment by Senator Mitt Romney this weekend turned into the meme of the moment over night. The Utah Republican told an interviewer from the Atlantic that he has a secret Twitter account so that he can use the site anonymously. In a matter of hours, social media sleuths had found it — an account under the name Pierre Delecto.
Romney gave his interviewer a few snippets of information about his secret account — how many accounts he was following, what kinds of public figures they were, and the fact that President Donald Trump was not one of them. Running with that, Ashley Feinberg of Slate was able to determine that Monsieur Pierre Delecto was, most likely, Romney.
When The Atlantic's McKay Coppins called Romney to ask about the account, he reportedly answered: "c'est moi."
In about 24 hours, the internet has already had a field day with Pierre Delecto. The existence of the account would have been enough joke fodder for days on its own, but adding in the unique name, this may be in the running for strange online phenomenon of the year.
Meanwhile, Romney has set his beloved account to Protected, meaning that no one else can read his tweets or see his other online activity. The account has been active since 2011, meaning Romney was using it while running for president against Barack Obama.
In his interview, Romney brought up his fake account in a conversation about President Trump's unconventional social media activity. He was discussing a recent occasion when the president went after him on Twitter, encouraging voters to "impeach" Romney from office. With the ownership of the Pierre Delecto account, however, Romney may have proven that he is about as odd online as his political nemesis.
Here is a look at some of Twitter's best takes on Pierre Delecto.
If trying to keep-up with role-playing and fictional names in politics:
Anthony Weiner: “Carlos Danger”
Peter Navarro: “Ron Vara”
Mitt Romney: “Pierre Delecto”
Donald Trump: “John Barron”, “John Miller”, “David Dennison”, “Individual One”, “POTUS”, “Commander in Chief”....— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) October 21, 2019
More than a few users compared Pierre Delecto to another infamous political pseudonym: Carlos Danger. The name was used by former New York congressman Anthony Wiener when dating online, as his constituents learned later on.
Pierre Delecto, John Barron and Carlos Danger walk into a bar...— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 21, 2019
Some users also compared Delecto to Ron Vara, a name used by economist and Trump administration advisor Peter Navarro. Whatever the case, it is clear that Delecto joins a growing stable of political alter egos.prevnext
President Trump's Psuedonyms
Pierre Delecto is in discussions with John Barron and David Dennison to get this sorted out, Dumbshit Jr. https://t.co/i6Xxr09wP9— BrooklynDad_Defiant Savage! (@mmpadellan) October 21, 2019
Of course, it was not lost on people that President Trump has used more pseudonyms than perhaps any other modern politician. The president has reportedly gone by the names John Barron, John Miller and David Dennison in some phone conversations. Twitter users wondered whether Barron and Delecto might get along better than Trump and Romney do.prevnext
Pierre Delecto is the spell they teach you at Hogwarts that makes a person’s spine disappear.— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) October 21, 2019
To some, there was an almost mystical sound to the name Pierre Delecto, as if it were a magical incantation or a spell. If that's the case, no one online has been able to master it yet.prevnext
Pierre Delecto is obviously a character from the Steely Dan expanded universe. He’s only in the role playing game and one of the cartoons— PAPPADEMAS (@PAPPADEMAS) October 21, 2019
A few users joked that they had heard the name Pierre Delecto in the media somewhere before. They pondered which fictional franchise he would fit best into, and many settled on country music.prevnext
When asked to describe the name "Pierre Delecto" in a GIF, Twitter users did not disappoint. From Pepe le Pew to Lumiere, every French character was up for grabs, and a few other choice GIFs showed up as well.prevnext
you still end up with "I delight in stone" (roughly)— Doctora Malka Older (@m_older) October 21, 2019
More than a few Twitter users seriously wondered why Romney chose such an outlandish name for his account. Some offered their best explanations, too, including attorney Max Kennerly. Kennerly noted that Romney went on his mission for the Mormon Church in France, and speaks the language fluently. He suggested that the name was a subtle, trans-lingual pun, although others debated the accuracy of this origin story.prevnext
His Following List
So Pierre Delecto was following me. Hmmm. Discuss amongst yourselves.— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) October 21, 2019
More than anyone, the existence of Pierre Delecto was a surprise to the accounts that he was following. A few of those users rushed to Twitter, shocked that Romney was secretly watching their posts, including American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp.
Romney himself told Coppins that he did not follow President Trump with his secret account.
"He tweets so much," the senator remarked.
He did, however, follow public figures, including some he liked and some he simply wanted to keep up with. Among them were athletes, politicians and entertainers. Romney apparently struggled to remember the name of one of the late-night hosts he follows.
"What's his name, the big redhead from Boston?" he said, referring presumably to Conan O'Brien.prevnext
Halloween Costume Ideas
Finally, it seemed serendipitous to some that the Pierre Delecto news came so close to Halloween, providing a cheap, easy idea for a Halloween costume. These ranged from simple beret-and-mustache combos to elaborate alterations to Mitt Romney masks. Check back at PopCulture.com at the end of the month to see how those costumes shape up.prev