Two Hours on Twitter: Debating the Presidential Debate

By Jenine Pilla
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Oct. 10, 2012

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According to Twitter, last week’s debate was the most tweeted-about event in U.S. politics, with more than 10 million tweets in a span of just over two hours. The highest spike, 160,000, came when moderator Jim Lehrer replied, “Let’s not” to Mitt Romney’s attempted segue into a new topic. With a close eye and a finger on the refresh button, PW brings you some memorable tweets from the local and national peanut gallery.

Sam Carchidi @BroadStBull OK, guys, get off the jobs issue. Except this one: How would you keep 30 #NHL teams employed?#lockout

The Inquirer’s Flyers beat writer was pointing out that the NHL is still sitting on the bench watching the financial debate between owners and players.

Matt Yglesias @mattyglesias If voucherizing Medicare for current old people is so terrible, why does Romney want to do it for me?

“Again, that’s for future people, not for current retirees,” Romney said repeatedly while President Obama criticized the governor’s proposal to convert the current health plan for seniors into a private system, giving insurance providers a leg up on elders.

Samantha Clarke @samanthakclarke Religious tolerance in the United States? Right... until they build a Mosque. #debates

Romney mentioned the importance of religious freedom for Americans. Casting aspersions against everyday Muslims, of course, has been common since 9/11.

James Pethokoukis @JimPethokoukis I think Obama forgot to tell America how he would end the Long Recession #whereshisplan

Both candidates spewed numbers and spoke of the Dodd-Frank law as if the audience was an economics class at Wharton. Partisans from both sides seemed dissatisfied with the opposing party’s inability to clearly articulate plans, not just statistics.

Adam Erace @adamerace A one-eyed woman with a two-headed unicorn stopped me on the street today and asked: can you help me?

Remember how McCain introduced Joe the Plumber in 2008 to humanize the middle class? This year, both candidates have mentioned so many random people in random states, it’s been transformed into a game—see

Kelly Jensen @catagator In all seriousness, Big Bird got more attention than women did in this debate. COAL got more attention than women did in this debate.

Hm—what domestic topic has been in the news all year long? Oh yeah, women’s reproductive rights!

Fired Big Bird @FiredBigBird Mitt Romney will end Burt and Ernie’s right to a civil union

Didn’t take long for Romney to cut funding to PBS and fire Big Bird. Took even less time for unemployed Big Bird to create a Twitter account—and even less time for Twitter to suspend it. (By the way, in 2011, PBS funding accounted for .00014 percent of the federal budget.)

NOTE: We’re on Twitter, too! @PhillyWeekly

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1. Anonymous said... on Oct 22, 2012 at 09:46PM

“At the end this debate Romney's entire family came on stage to greet him, But Obama's kids did not. Where were they? Do they put family values first and have them at home in bed since they know they have school in the morning. Are they trying as much as possible to give them a normal life so they don't drag them along.”


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