Meet Twitter's Original POTUS (Hint: It's Not President Obama)

President Obama wasn't the first to claim the handle.

ByABC News
May 19, 2015, 3:20 AM
President Obama is seen in the Oval Office in this undated photo.
President Obama is seen in the Oval Office in this undated photo.
White House/Twitter

— -- When Steve D'Alimonte first claimed the Twitter handle @POTUS in 2008, he was just a "West Wing" fan testing out on a new social media platform that he heard about from a tech-savvy friend.

But this week, he achieved Twitter stardom.

"I had the handle until 2011 when I moved to the U.S.," D’Alimonte, a Canadian citizen who currently lives in Toronto but spent several years living in California, told ABC News. "Because I was looking for jobs at the time … I thought it was probably time to choose a handle that better reflected me and not the President of the United States, which I definitely am not."

After initially changing the handle to his own name in 2011, D'Almonte decided he should not entirely let go of the @POTUS handle on the off-chance that someone might be interested in claiming it down the road. It turns out D'Alimonte was correct, with President Obama himself taking over the handle and putting it to use on Monday.

But when D'Almonte went to re-register the @POTUS handle with a different e-mail address – almost immediately after he changed his original handle – he was blocked from doing so by Twitter.

"For whatever reason, when I tried to create the new account using a different email address, it said that I couldn't take @POTUS," D'Almonte said. "I just thought okay, whatever, and kind of never thought about it again until today."

He has not tried to re-register the handle since his initial attempt in 2011. "I probably should have worked harder to hold on to it but I just didn't," D'Alimonte said with a laugh.

When contacted by ABC News about D'Almonte's experience, Twitter provided the link to the social media site's "Inactive Account Policy," which allows Twitter to reclaim dormant and rarely used accounts.

Cook first learned that the actual POTUS was using the @POTUS handle when he was tagged in a tweet by "Business Insider" reporter James Cook:

D'Alimonte responded on Twitter to confirm Cook's tweet:

With hopes of one day moving back to California, D'Alimonte took advantage of the Twitter limelight to jokingly ask for a green card to the United States.