Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with parents and child care workers at the Center for New Horizons on Wednesday in Chicago. 
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with parents and child care workers at the Center for New Horizons on Wednesday in Chicago.  - 
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Hillary Clinton is not the first person to get on LinkedIn — about 115 million Americans joined before her.  Nor is she the first 2016 contender. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and others already have profiles there.

"The difference between Hillary Clinton and every single other candidate running, including Jeb Bush, is she has universal recognition already," says Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. 

This argument is similar to the one being made by her campaign. They say everyone knows her name, but few know the real Hillary.

"When you actually talk to people, they don't know that her dad was a small business owner, they don't know that she had a middle class upbringing," says Teddy Goff, a digital strategist with the Clinton campaign.

"There’s nothing quite like social media to give people a direct touch point into the campaign and into the real human being who is the candidate," he says.

And why LinkedIn? Well, it's about connecting to people where they are, says Geoffrey James, a blogger and author of "Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know."

"It has become now the primary way that companies search for candidates, and the primary way where candidates represent themselves," James says, "It’s replaced the resume."

One thing not on Clinton's resume: her 2007-2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. 


Clinton's not the only politician to set up a LinkedIn profile. President Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and once-presidential-hopeful Mitt Romney are all members of the platform. How have they used LinkedIn?

President Obama

President Obama joined the social networking site in 2007 during his first run for president — and has since accumulated almost two million followers. Aside from your standard resume details, the Obama team used LinkedIn during and after his 2012 run to post about his policy platforms.

In October 2012, when running against Romney in the 2012 presidential election, Obama tried to appeal to middle-class voters. Here’s an excerpt from, “A critical choice for the middle class”: 

President Obama knows we can only grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down. That's why he's fighting to make sure our tax system is fair for all Americans—while Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would raise taxes on the middle class to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

Mitt Romney 

Romney hasn’t updated his resume since 2012, but he also used LinkedIn during the 2012 election to outline his plan for the middle class.  

Here’s an excerpt from his “5 Point Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” post: 

The past three and a half years have been the hardest on the middle class since the Great Depression. Too many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to find work. This election is about giving middle-class Americans a fair shot. On Day One, I will begin turning this economy around with a plan for a stronger middle class.

Prime Minister David Cameron

Cameron has posted extensively about the UK’s relationship with the U.S. and other foreign countries. He also likes to dabble in economic growth and tech innovation.

Here’s an excerpt from one of his posts, “UK and USA - working together for economic prosperity”:  

We must do all we can to bolster our economies against another global economic downturn. So we’re working to help families stake their claim to a better future and buy their first home. We’re supporting small businesses, expanding apprenticeships, improving education for all, and backing increases in the minimum wage.

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Follow Tim Fitzsimons at @@tfitzsimons