I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012…I’ll be voting for he and Vice President Joe Biden next month.
Big Bird vs. Binders Full of Women
In the first debate it was “Big Bird.” In the second it was “Binders Full of Women.” In both cases, Mitt Romney uttered the words that dominated social media conversation during and after the debates.
After Romney talked about how he would cut federal funding for PBS despite the fact that he loves Big Bird, President Obama turned it around as line of attack both on the campaign trail and in an intentionally satirical ad. The Big Bird issue had a point to make about Romney’s lack of specifics om deficit reduction, but it was clearly also a way to paint him as less than presidential.
We haven’t seen a campaign ad featuring a binder yet, but Obama did bring it up the day after the second debate, saying he has never needed to “collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women.”
This morning, the men of Morning Joe tried to conflate both of these issues as things regular Americans don’t care about, while the only woman present, Mika Brzezinski, tried in vain to explain what make binders different from Big Bird.
People immediately latched onto to both of these ideas online in real time, but I believe it was for different reasons. There was an inherent silliness to hearing “serious presidential candidate” Mitt Romney utter the words “I love Big Bird,” which led to people joking about it on Twitter and posting photoshopped images on Tumblr.
The “binders full of women” comment seemed to hit people in a more visceral way, revealing something disturbing about how Mitt Romney views qualified women as something he would have to go out of his way to find.
As evidenced by the Binders Full of Women Tumblr that immediately popped up, there were plenty of memes to be had. But as time went by and it was revealed that Romney didn’t even request the binders as he suggested but rather they would have been presented to either candidate by the group MassGAP, the issue has taken on more weight.
The Obama campaign should not get lost in a world of binders in the way some would argue they got sidetracked by Big Bird. But to equate these two ideas as mere distractions misses the mark.
We will either see a spirited defense by Barack Obama of his four year record or we won’t. If we see it, this election campaign will take a strong new life. If we don’t, something historic will begin to die.