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article imageOp-Ed: Will the 2012 debates be remembered as the 'meme debates'

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By Greta McClain     Oct 23, 2012 in Politics
The presidential debates have always provided a myriad of material for late night talk show hosts and comedians, fodder for opposing campaigns, and now social media memes, more than providing an insight into the plans a candidate has for the country.
In the first debate we learned that Mitt Romney loves Big Bird, although not enough to continue federal funding of public television. Twitter accounts such as Save Big Bird and Big Bird sprang up nearly over night and the Facebook page Save Big Bird has over 14,000 fans.
Scores of YouTube videos centering around Romney's plan to ax the oversized avian and the rest of the Sesame Street gang were uploaded.
In Kermit Responds to Mitt Romney, the talking green amphibian explains why he thinks Romney wants to stop funding PBS.
Romney Fires Big Bird depicts Romney firing the entire cast of Sesame Street.
There were also plenty of humorous pictures making their way through cyberspace as well.
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During the second debate, Romney talked about his "Binders Full of Women". The "insta-meme" sparked an entire Tumblr page dedicated exclusively to images of binders and women:
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The comment even inspired a song by Jonathon Mann, and a Dubstep version of Binders Full of Women.
A satirical parody called Mitt Romney in "Binders Full of Women" poked fun at the fact Romney didn't actually approach women's groups as he claimed.
An ABC News report even suggests that there will be plenty of binders full of women Halloween costumes this year.
In the third debate, which was held on Monday night, Obama shot back at Romney with his "horses and bayonets" comment. After Romney accused the Obama administration of spending too little on the military by saying that the United States Navy had fewer ships today than it did in 1917, the President gave Romney a history lesson, saying:
“Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines.”
ABC says there were 105,767 tweets per minute regarding the President's comment. A half hour after the debate ended, #horsesandbayonets was still going strong on twitter, trending worldwide.
Tumblr got in on the act as well with it's horsesbayonets page page.
Not to be outdone, Flickr has it's share of horses and bayonet pictures as well"
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With the 2008 Presidential election being dubbed "the YouTube election", will the 2012 Presidential debates be known more for their social media chatter than providing a substantial insight into the candidates plans, and will they be crowned as the "meme debates"?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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More about Election 2012, 2012 presidential election, Internet, Social media, Mitt Romney
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