2012 United States Presidential Election

2012 United States Presidential Election

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Updated Jan 21, 2013 at 09:10PM EST by Don.

Added Oct 02, 2012 at 11:55AM EDT by amanda b..

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Overview

2012 United States Presidential Election is the 57th quadrennial presidential election that is scheduled to be held on November 6th, 2012. The two major candidates are incumbent Democrat Barack Obama, running with Joe Biden, and Republican Mitt Romney, running with Paul Ryan. There are also three other candidates: Libertarian Gary Johnson, Green Party member Jill Stein and Constitution Party member Virgil Goode.

Background

Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney was officially nominated as the presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in September 2012, after winning 11 primaries and caucuses during the state elections. The incumbent U.S. president Barack Obama was nominated for re-election at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) held a week later. For more information on the state elections, head over to KYMdb – 2012 Republican Presidential Primary.



Online Presence

Throughout 2012, a wide range of online communities, weblogs and interactive features emerged as hotspots of political and election-related news and memes, from globally popular services like Twitter, Reddit and Twitter to major news publications including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, ABC News and many others.

  • Reddit hosts several subreddit forums dedicated to discussing political and partisan issues, including /r/2012Elections.
  • Twitter introduced its official election account @TwitterGovernment as well as a special index page to chart the trending topics and compare the popularity of the two candidates.
  • Tumblr also launched a special single topic blog for the election news coverage in partnership with The Guardian, as well as a live-GIFing session with graphic artists during the presidential debates.
  • Google also launched a special Politics & Elections section dedicated to the Republican presidential primaries and the U.S. presidential election, providing real-time and multi-faceted coverage of the voter demographics and the candidates’ performance on the web.
  • YouTube similarly launched the official YouTube Politics channel, which provides a comprehensive collection of the latest video updates in partnership with other media organizations.

News Media Analysis

[this section is currently being researched]

Described by some journalists as the first U.S. presidential election driven by social media and internet memes, the online popularity of both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama has been a recurring topic in the election news coverage. Beginning in early October 2012, the role of social media and memes in election campaigns became a central talking point in the news, as the number of internet memes continued to stack up with each round of the presidential debate.

Notable Developments

March 21st: Etch-a-sketch Gaffe

The first bipartisan face-off relating to the 2012 presidential election took place during Eric Fehrnstrom’s Etch-a-sketch Gaffe controversy on March 21st, 2012 when Mitt Romney’s senior campaign adviser likened its game plan to a mechanical drawing toy which can be erased by shaking it while appearing on CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.



“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

The comment was mocked by all sides of the GOP primary candidates, as well as the Democratic National Committee, which released a whimsical video titled “Mitt Romney: Some Things You Can’t Shake Off” highlighting the candidate’s contradictory statements from his rally speeches.



April 17th: Obama the Eater of Dog

On April 17th, the political blog The Daily Caller posted an excerpt from President Obama’s biography describing his experience of trying dog meat as a child with his stepfather Lolo Soetoro.

“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”

The article was quickly picked up by others in the political blogosphere and news media as well as on Twitter, where people began using the hashtag #ObamaDogRecipes to poke fun at the President’s past culinary choices. Among the satirists were Romney’s campaign strategist Eric Fehrnstrom:



May 3rd: Life of Julia Parodies

On May 3rd, 2012, the Obama re-election campaign team released a slideshow titled “The Life of Julia”, which went through the life of a faceless female character with the government providing assistance for her at every point in her life. The slideshow was immediately criticized by political media outlets including news aggregator Breitbart, who was the first to parody the page by providing an alternative life story of a real person named Julia.



On May 3rd, 2012, Twitter users also began critiquing the slideshow with the hashtag #Julia and a handful of image parodies emerged with TheLifeOfJulia.com creating a similar interactive slideshow to show an alternative view of her life under Obama’s presidency.


 

May 29th: Romney’s iPhone App Gaffe

On May 29th, the Romney campaign launched the official iPhone app “With Mitt” on the iTunes store. The free app allowed users to add a variety of pro-Romney slogans like “I’m a Mom For Mitt” and “Obama isn’t working” to their photos and share the edited images on Facebook and Twitter. However, Mitt Romney’s attempt at raising his social media profile did not last long, as it quickly became apparent that one of the 14 banners in the app contained a spelling error (“A Better Amercia”).



The gaffe inspired a series of parody images and tweets mocking the typo while the hashtag #amercia became a trending topic the following morning according to the Twitter analytics site Twee. On May 30th, the “Amercia is With Mitt” Tumblr blog was created, which featured parody images created with the app. The same day, the tech news blog Mashable published a post titled “Amercia! Epic Mitt Romney App Gaffe Goes Viral Online”, including a slideshow of notable Amercia image macro examples. The Romney campaign has since filed an update to the app with corrections.



July 13th: Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” Gaffe

On July 13th, President Obama gave a speech at a local fire station in Roanoke, Virginia, as part of his 2012 presidential re-election campaign. In taking direct aim at Mitt Romney’s ongoing Bain Capital controversy and expanding on his administration’s plan for higher taxes on the wealthy Americans, President Obama addressed the crowd:



There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

President Obama’s speech in Virginia didn’t catch on immediately in the mainstream news media, as the political press had already retreated into the weekend mode by Friday evening, but many people on the Internet began discussing President Obama’s speech and his quote “you didn’t build that” through social news and media-sharing sites like YouTube, Reddit and 4chan.



By July 16th, Romney’s campaign team as well as conservative single topic blogs like Didn’t Build That and RNCResearch had caught the wind of Obama’s exploitable soundbite, which led to further reiteration and even re-contextualization of the original quote.



July 21st: @MittRomney’s Followers Skyrocket

On July 21st, 2012, election-related social media analysis site 140Elect published an article highlighting an unusual spike in Mitt Romney’s Twitter followership, which soared from the average daily gain of 3,000 to 4,000 new followers to well over 90,000 followers per day since July 20th. Although the article didn’t explicitly accuse Romney’s campaign of tempering with Twitter followers, the provided data suggested that there may have been some sort of foul play involved. As shown in the chart below, it appears there has been little correlation between the spike in the number of @MittRomney’s followers over the weekend and the total number of mentions and retweets from the same account. In addition, the media criticism blog Mediate pointed out that many of @MittRomney’s new Twitter followers had no tweets or followers, or others had posted “unintelligble or in another language.”




The article was reblogged by the Daily Dot and BuzzFeed with headlines noting that Romney is being accused of “buying out Twitter followers.” Soon, political blogs from both end of the spectrum, including The Daily Edge, Top Conservative Cat and 2012Twit, began exchanging tweets addressing the accusation, spawning more than 6,000 tweets with the hashtag #MoreFakeMitt in less than 24 hours, according to Topsy’s report. Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign digital director Zac Moffatt rejected accusations that the campaign has been buying followers for Romney, adding that they have reached out to Twitter to further investigate the rapid growth in the Republican candidate’s followership.

September 2nd: Romney’s Tax Return Theft Scandal

On September 2nd, 2012, an anonymous group of hackers posted a bulletin announcement titled “Romney 1040 Collection” via Pastebin, in which it claimed to have obtained copies of the Republican presidential candidate’s 1040 tax returns after breaking and entering the Tennessee office of PricewaterhouseCooper, the accounting firm that has been handling Romney’s tax returns, on August 25th. The group also asserted that flash drives containing encrypted copies of Romney’s 1040 files had been sent to the Republican and Democratic campaign offices and threatened to publicly release the encryption key on September 28th, unless Romney’s campaign paid the ransom of $1 million in Bitcoins, an online currency that has been known to be difficult to trace.



On September 5th, the U.S. Secret Service revealed that it began investigating the alleged theft of Romney’s pre-2010 federal tax records, which have become a key focus of attack points against the candidate during the 2012 Republican presidential race. Along with the Pastebin communique, the news of the investigation was quickly picked up by the Associated Press and featured on a wide range of tech news, internet gossip and political blogs. On September 21st, Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2011 in an effort to quell the lasting controversies surrounding his personal financial records. The hundreds of pages of documents revealed that the candidate paid $1.9 million in taxes on $13.69 million in income, mostly from his investments, or 14.1 percent of his income.

September 17th: Romney’s 47% Remark

On September 17th, MotherJones released a hidden camera tape of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser in Florida earlier in May. When asked what his strategy was to win the presidential election, Romney answered by saying that he will focus on earning the trust of taxpaying Americans rather than convincing the 47 percent of the people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”



“And so my job is not to worry about those people--I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.”

The following day, a single topic Tumblr titled We Are the 47 Percent was created as a parody of the We Are the 99 Percent blog, featuring photos of people holding up paper signs playing up Romney’s depiction of whiny freeloaders. Meanwhile on Democratic Underground, forum user Mr. Scorpio shared his satirical commentaries on Romney’s stance on the so-called 47% in a post titled “Fuck You, Mitt.” Romney’s official response to the leak of the camera tape was that it was “not elegantly stated” but did not deny his statements.



October 3rd: The First U.S. Presidential Debate

On October 3rd, 2012, the first 2012 U.S. presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama was held at the University of Colorado in Denver, moderated by the renowned PBS journalist Jim Lehrer. During the course of the debate, Mitt Romney remarked that he “[will] stop the subsidy to PBS” in order to reduce the national deficit despite his self-declared affection for Big Bird, a protagonist of the children’s television show Sesame Street.



“I’m sorry Jim, I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS, I like PBS, I love Big Bird, I actually like you too, but I am not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

Minutes after Romney’s comment went on air, several Twitter accounts, including #FiredBigBird and #BigBirdRomney, were created, along with thousands of tweets criticizing Romney for his PBS budget cut proposal and the implied firing of Big Bird. By the end of the debate at 10:30 (ET), the hashtag #SaveBigBird climbed to the fourth-highest trending topic on Twitter. Meanwhile on Reddit and Tumblr, humorous image macros portraying Big Bird as an unemployed job seeker quickly began pouring in, as well as catchphrase slogans like “Save Big Bird,” “Don’t Mess with Big Bird” and “Mitt Romney Hates Big Bird.” Furthermore, dozens of Facebook fan pages carrying pro-PBS and anti-Romney slogans began to surface on the social networking site.




The “Big Bird” fiasco eventually spilled onto the campaign trail with President Obama drawing a reference to Romney’s remark on the Sesame Street character during a rally outside of Washington D.C. in which he was quoted as saying “[Romney] is getting tough on Big Bird. Wall Street can run wild again, but he’s bringing the hammer down on Sesame Street.” On October 9th, Barack Obama’s reelection campaign team released a new TV advertisement starring the Sesame Street character as its central figure. Produced in the typical fashion of a negative political ad, the faceless narrator attacks Mitt Romney’s preoccupation with PBS subsidies while turning a blind eye on the Wall Street.



October 5th: “Completely Wrong” in Google Images

On October 5th, Mitt Romney backtracked on his own 47% remark as “completely wrong” during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. In the following days, the presidential candidate’s retraction was covered by news publications and election-related news blogs, which led to a sudden upsurge in the volume of Mitt Romney’s images associated with the keyphrase “completely wrong” (shown below).



The ripple effect of Romney’s retraction in Google Images was initially reported as early as on October 9th and shortly after that, screenshots of image search results pages for “completely wrong” began to circulate on Twitter and Tumblr. On Facebook, Romney’s detractors even urged others to go to Google Image Search and type in the phrase to reinforce the association (shown below).



By October 10th, “completely wrong” had shot up to the third most searched phrase on Google’s Hot Trends list and Mitt Romney’s SEO debacle was inevitably looped back into the election coverage in the news media. While some readers speculated the possibility of a Google bombing campaign behind the phenomenon, a spokesperson for Google later confirmed with ABC News that it was a “natural search result.”

October 11th: Paul Ryan Workout Photos

On October 11th, 2012, Time Magazine published a series of Paul Ryan’s photos[1] for his runner-up position as Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2011, which featured Ryan sitting on a workout bench while performing bicep curl exercises. According to the article, the workout theme was chosen in consideration of the congressman’s passion for fitness regime and his finess in fiscal policymaking. The same day, the viral content site BuzzFeed published several of the Time photos in a post titled “Paul Ryan Did a Beefcake Photo Shoot and It’s the Best Thing Ever”[2] (shown below).



The TIME Magazine photos also led to the creation of a Twitter parody account (@PaulRyansBicep[3]) and an OKCupid[24] dating profile later that same day.




The voice behind Paul Ryan image macros soon reached a stable state with the launch of Mansplaining Paul Ryan[4], a single topic blog that pairs up Ryan’s workout photos with patronizing or patriarchic commentaries on key election issues like economy and women’s rights. On the following day, New York Magazine[5] described the blog as “a perfect storm” inspired by Ryan’s glamour photo release and nonspecific explanations of his tax plan during the vice presidential debate later that day.




October 12th: The U.S. Vice Presidential Debate

On October 12th, 2012, the vice presidential debate between the Democrat incumbent Joe Biden and Republican nominee Paul Ryan took place at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. In stark contrast to the first presidential debate, the candidates carried on a spirited exchange with an energetic presence and the moderator Martha Raddatz won praise for pressing both for more specific answers. Throughout the 90-minute session, Biden was repeatedly seen wearing a smirk on his face when it was Ryan’s turn to speak, which quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.



Within minutes into the debate, Twitter parody account @LaughingJoeBiden was launched at 9:20pm (ET) with the first tweet reading LOL, immediately followed by another parody account @BidenSmirk created at 9:21pm (ET) and the third account @LaughingBiden at 9:50pm (ET). During the first hour alone, @LaughingJoeBiden gained nearly 5,000 followers and by the end of the 90 minute debate, the account had gained more than 8,000 followers. In addition, screenshots of Biden’s smirks began making the rounds with hashtags like #malarky, #laughingbiden and #bidensmirk. By the end of the debate, image macros and photoshopped parodies had spread across Twitter as well as on Reddit.



On the following day, the Republican National Committee released a YouTube campaign advertisement featuring a back-to-back montage of Joe Biden’s smirk sequences set to Paul Ryan’s speaking points from the debate. The video gained a quarter million views in the first 12 hours of upload.



October 16th: The Second U.S. Presidential Debate

On October 16th, 2012, the second U.S. presidential debate took place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. During the debate, an undecided voter by the name of Katherine Fenton asked both candidates about pay inequality for women, to which Romney replied with an anecdote about how he sought to form a gender-balanced cabinet during his governorship in Massachusetts:



“And I said, ‘Well, gosh, can’t we -- can’t we find some -- some women that are also qualified? I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women."

Immediately after Romney’s remark went on-air, image macros captioned with Romney’s “binder” response began circulating on Twitter, as well as the launch of parody blogs Binders Full of Women on Tumblr[2] and novelty account @RomneysBinder on Twitter.[3]



October 17th: Menacing Josh Romney

Following the second presidential debate held on October 16th, a still image of Mitt Romney’s son Josh staring intently as his father was speaking about his “”knowyourmeme.com/memes/binders-full-of-women">binders full of women" was turned into an image macro by Redditors titled “Menacing Josh Romney.” The first image was submitted to Reddit[6] on October 17th with the caption “Father, strike down Obama and together we can rule the galaxy.” (shown below, left). Over the next day, instances of the image macro series appeared on the Huffington Post[7], Buzzfeed[8], Uproxx[9] and the FWD.[10] Within 24 hours, the Quickmeme page[11] accrued 472 instances.



October 19th: Obama Mentions #Romnesia

During a campaign rally stop in Virginia on October 19th, 2012, President Obama criticized his opponent candidate Mitt Romney’s inconsistent policy stances by using the term “Romnesia”, a portmanteau of the Republican presidential candidate’s last name and amnesia, a medical condition in which one’s memory is lost either partially or in its entirety.



“He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will, too. I mean, he’s changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping – we’ve got to name this condition that he’s going through. I think it’s called ‘Romnesia’. That’s what it’s called. If you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions.”

Shortly after President Obama’s mention of the word, the paraphrased version of his quote appeared via his official Twitter account. Within the first 72 hours, the tweet has received more than 8,800 tweets and nearly 950 favorites.




October 23rd: The Third U.S. Presidential Debate

During the third and the last U.S. presidential debate on October 23rd, 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce the size of the naval forces by asserting that there are less military ships than there were at the beginning of the World War I in 1917.



Mitt Romney: “Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now at under 285. … We’re headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me.”

President Obama rebutted Romney’s criticism by arguing that the quantity of naval firepower came second to their strategic roles and capabilities in the context of technologically advanced and modern military.

Barack Obama: “You mention the Navy, for example, and the fact that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. It’s not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships, it’s ‘What are our priorities?’”

Within minutes of the candidates’ exchange on the U.S. Navy’s downsizing plans, Twitter became inundated with photoshopped images and the hashtag #horsesandbayonets, swiftly taking over the top trending topics in the United States and worldwide. In keeping up with the recent trend, several parody accounts also emerged on the microblogging service, including @HorsesBayonets and @HorsesBayonette, which was originally introduced as @RomneyBinders during the second presidential debate on October 16th. By midnight, @HorsesBayonette had gained more than 34,200 followers.

October 23rd: Twitter Bomb Threat

On October 23rd, the tech news blog IEEE Spectrum[14] published an interview with computer scientist Panagiotis Metaxas, who warned that a form of spam known as “Twitter bombs" could be expected to spread across the microblogging service during the weeks leading up to the election. The scheme involves employing automated computer programs to retweet posts on a massive scale, misleading people to believe that a topic is legitimately trending. Metaxas further warned that if Twitter bombs were used as a last-minute tactic, they may be able to sway public opinion with misinformation prior to being discovered as spam. On November 4th, 2012, the American Free Press[12] published an article titled “‘Twitter bombs may deliver late election surprise,” which compared the practice to the search engine manipulation technique known as “Google bombing”. The same day, Euro News[13] published an article titled “‘Twitter bomb’ Fears Cast Shadow Over US Election Race,” which featured a video report on the Twitter bomb threat (shown below).



Turnout

Online Coverage

On election day, several news media outlets ran live YouTube streams for the first time during a United States presidential election, including Al Jazeera,[50]ABC News,[51]CNN,[52] Univision,[53] The New York Times[54] and The Wall Street Journal.[54] Live-updated electoral dashboards and maps were featured across many news websites, including CNN,[22] The Washington Post,[23] Fox News,[24] Huffington Post,[25] C-Span,[26]MSNBC,[27]CBS News[28] and The New York Times[29] (shown below).



Statistician Nate Silver of the New York Times blog Five Thirty Eight[55] published a prediction[30] that Barack Obama had a 90 percent chance of winning the presidential election. According to The New Republic,[31] Five Thirty Eight had become 20 percent of the New York Times traffic. The parody Twitter account @fivethirtynate gained thousands of followers, which tweeted mystical cryptic ramblings from the perspective of Silver (shown below).


Online Reaction

As the election results trickled in state by state, members of various social media sites responded and participated in different ways. On Tumblr, the analytics team from Union Metrics compiled kept a live visualization[15] of the top tags in posts related to the election. They also color-coded posts specifically related to political parties, leaving bipartisan posts shades of gray. At a point on November 6th, there were approximately 37 posts about the election per second on the microblogging platform.[16]



On Facebook, Barack Obama’s official page shared a photo of the President and his wife, Michelle, embracing with the caption “Four more years.”[17] Within fifteen hours, the post had accrued more than 3.5 million likes, nearly 476,000 shares and more than 173,000 comments. The post earned two Guinness World Records, for most likes on a Facebook item in 24 hours and most likes on a Facebook item ever, which will be awarded at 11:16pm EST on November 7th.[18]



Obama’s social media team also posted the photo to Twitter[19], where it broke the record for most retweeted tweet of all time after receiving 302,176 retweets within an hour.[20] By 12 PST on November 7th, the tweet had 716,258 retweets and 247,536 favorites, breaking the previous record set by Justin Bieber.[21]




There was aso large volume of conversation about the election results from high-profile users on Twitter. The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper[32], as well as celebrities including Mariah Carey[33], Katy Perry[34], Lady Gaga[35], Rashida Jones[36], Jessica Alba[37], Neil Patrick Harris[38], Pitbull[39] and Cher[40] (shown below) among many others tweeted congratulatory messages and positive responses to the results. Collections of these tweets were featured on the Huffington Post[41], USA Today[42] and Entertainment Weekly.[43]




Romney supporters also took to the microblogging site to express their displeasure with the results including Donald Trump, who called for a revolution[44], and former Saturday Night Live cast member Victoria Jackson, who claimed “America died.”[45] The next morning, Jezebel[46] featured screenshots of racist tweets toward the president after his win.



Vice[47] published a similar article, looking into the interests of the negative tweeters, analyzing the traits of Obama haters. Mashable[48] also curated tweets from Conservatives, both positive and negative. The same day, the satirical single-serving site Is Nate Silver a Witch?[49] was launched, which featured an announcement that Silver was “probably a witch” (shown below).



Hair Flag Lady

As the President was giving his acceptance speech, a woman was shown seated behind him with what appeared to be a flag in her hair. During the speech, the hashtags #HairFlag[56] and #FlagLady[57] both began to trend, but people also discussed the woman with the hashtags #FlagHead[58], #FlagHair[59] and #FlagInHairLady.[60] Screenshots of the woman, along with image macros and other commentary, were featured on a range of news sites and internet culture blogs including Business Insider[61], Buzzfeed[62], the Independent[63], Politico[64], Mashable[65] and ABC News.[66]



Inauguration

On January 21st, 2013, Obama was inaugurated into office for his second term as President of the United States of America. The same day, his full inauguration speech was uploaded to YouTube on TheNewYorkTimes channel (shown below). According to the Internet news site The Daily Dot,[68] reported that there were more 1.1 million inauguration-related tweets sent during the course of the ceremony



Shortly after the ceremony, Redditor ZtiWinterfell submitted a post to the /r/pics[71] subreddit, featuring a photograph of former president Bill Clinton looking at Kelly Clarkson during her inaugural performance. (shown below, left). Within six hours, the post received over 36,700 up votes and 1,345 comments. Redditor PoisonIvvy responded to the post with a linked photograph of New York Senator Charles Schumer grinning at Beyoncé Knowles during her performance of the national anthem (shown below, right). The same day, the New York Post[69] published an article with the Clinton photo.



Also on January 21st, the viral content site BuzzFeed[67] published a round-up of notable “Beyonce moments” from the inauguration. Meanwhile, Gawker[75] published an animated GIF of Michelle Obama reacting to Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner (shown below), calling the gesture a “hall-of-fame shade-throwing moment.”



Search Interest



Candidate Search Trends



External References

[this section is a work in progress]

[1]Time – Paul Ryan All Pumped Up for His Closeup

[2]BuzzFeed – Paul Ryan Did a Beefcake Photo Shoot And It’s The Best Thing Ever

[3]Twitter – @PaulRyansBicep

[4]OKCupid – PaulieRVP

[5]New York Magazine – Mansplaining Paul Ryan Meme Came True

[6]Reddit – Menacing Josh Romney

[7]Huffington Post – Menacing Josh Romney Meme: Our 21 Favorites

[8]Buzzfeed – Menacing Josh Romney

[9]Uproxx –

[10]The FW – 10 Hilariously Menacing Josh Romney Memes

[11]Quickmeme – Menacing Josh Romney

[12]Google – Twitter Bombs May Deliver Late Election Surprise

[13]Euro News – Twitter bomb fears cast shadow over US election race

[14]Ieee – Computer Scientist Warns of Social Media Manipulation in U.S. Election

[15]Union Metrics – Election 2012

[16]Union Metrics – Tumblr Reaction

[17]Facebook – Barack Obama | Four more years.

[18]Huffington Post – Barack Obama Also Wins Most Popular Facebook Photo Ever

[19]Twitter – @BarackObama | Four more years.

[20]Daily Dot – Guinness Confirms 3 Social Media World Records for Obama

[21]Daily Dot – Obama Posts Most Retweeted Tweet Of All Time

[22]CNNElection Center

[23]Washington Post – 2012 Presidential Election Results

[24]Fox News – 2012 Presidential Election

[25]Huffington Post – Election Results

[26]C-Span – AP General Election Map

[27]MSNBCElection Results

[28]CBS News – Election News

[29]NY Times – President Map

[30]Five Thirty Eight – Nov 5 Late Poll Gains for Obama Leave Romney With Longer Odds

[31]The New Republic – Nate Silver is a One-Man Traffic Machine for the Times#

[32]Twitter – @PMHarper’s Tweet

[33]Twitter – @MariahCarey’s Tweet

[34]Twitter – @KatyPerry’s Tweet

[35]Twitter – @LadyGaga’s Tweet

[36]Twitter – @IAmRashidaJones’ Tweet

[37]Twitter – @JessicaAlba’s Tweet

[38]Twitter – @ActuallyNPH’s Tweet

[39]Twitter – @Pitbull’s Tweet

[40]Twitter – @Cher’s Tweet

fnx41 Huffington Post – Beyonce Reacts To President Obama’s Re-Election (PHOTO)

[42]USA Today – Athletes, sports personalities react on Twitter to President Barack Obama’s re-election

[43]Entertainment Weekly – Twitter reaction to Obama win: Trump goes on tirade, RuPaul tells Romney to ‘sashay away’

[44]Gawker – ‘I can’t stop crying. America died’: Donald Trump and Victoria Jackson Melt Down on Twitter

[45]Twitter – Victoria Jackson | America died.

[46]Jezebel – Twitter Racists React to ‘That Nigger’ Getting Reelected

[47]Vice – What sort of person hates Barack Obama?

[48]Mashable – Conservatives React to Obama’s Re-election on Twitter

[49]Is Nate Silver a Witch – Is Nate Silver a Witch?

[50]YouTube – Al Jazeera English Live Stream

[51]YouTube – ABC News Election Night 2012 Live

[52]YouTube – CNN 2012 Election Night Commentary With Larry King

[53]YouTube – Univision Día de Elecciones 2012

[54]YouTube – NYT 2012 Election Night Coverage and Results

[54]YouTube – WSJ Live’s Primetime Election Night Coverage

[55]New York Times – “Five Thirty Eight”http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

[56]Twitter – #hairflag

[57]Twitter – https://twitter.com/search?q=%23flaglady&src=hash">#flaglady

[58]Twitter – #flaghead

[59]Twitter – #flaghair

[60]Twitter – #flaginhairlady

[61]Business Insider – ‘Flag Head Lady’ Distracted Everybody During Obama’s Acceptance Speech

[62]Buzzfeed – Flag Head Lady Becomes An American Hero

[63]The Independent – Did ‘Flag Head Lady’ Ruin Obama’s Victory Speech?

[64]Politico – ‘Hair flag lady’ stars at President Obama’s speech

[65]Mashable – 10 People Distracted by #FlagInHairLady During Obama Speech

[66]ABC News – President Obama Victory Speech Upstaged by ‘Hair Flag Lady’

[67]BuzzFeed – The 22 Most Fabulous Beyonce Moments From The Inauguration

[68]Daily Dot – Obama inauguration grabs 1 million tweets

[69]NY Post – Former president Clinton photobombs Kelly Clarkson

[70]Yahoo – The Evolution of the Chuck Schumer Inauguration Photobomb Meme

[71]Reddit – Bill Clintons view at todays inauguration

[72]Reddit – Inauguration of dat ass

[73]Reddit – If You Know What I Mean

[74]Facebook – God

[75]Gawker – Watch Michaelle Obama Throw World Historical Shade at John Boehner

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