Commentary: Twitter's debate coverage taught me everything I need to know in 2012

The (Tacoma) News TribuneOctober 23, 2012 

As the election nears and the volume of information increases, it seems we only have time for snippets of information, spin and opinions.

With that fact in mind, today we present a special Twitter edition of #Answerman.

Question: Was hard to concentrate on what cands were saying in last week’s pres debate and watch snark-filled Twitter roll too.. Advice? #overwhelmed

Answer: Turn sound down. Tweets are better way to follow complex issues of nation. They put the simple in simplistic. #140CharDemocracy

Q: Thnx. Agreed. I think Obama won debate ’cause more tweets were about him. Is this same as random sample polling?

A: Close enough for social media. More than 7.2 mil tweets sent during debate when average poll only talks to 1,000. #pseudoscience

Q: Gd pt. Thrown by the tie selection. Thought Const. says R wear red and D wear blue. Not sure what color either wore Tues #colorblindjustice

A: Not Constitution, just Nat. Debate Commission. Once Candy Crowley decided to break rules and ask tough follow-ups, rules went out the window.

Q: Some of those undecided voters at the Town Hall seemed pretty decided. Who picked them? #undecidedorbraindead

A: Gallup Poll found them, same poll that is now considered outlier among national polls. But undecided doesn’t mean unopinionated.

Q: I did notice that more of the undecideds on the stage were men. Is indecision a gender issue?

A: I don’t know. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. I guess I could go either way. #gaahh

Q: Romney kept referring to econ conditions when Obama was elected vs. now. Does he know who was president that day? #romnesia

A: Must. Obama mentioned George W. Bush more than Romney did, and not always in negative way. #selectivememory

Q: Is it good politics for Romney to remind voters of the Bush II years? Not good memories for many.

A: Maybe. R’s blaming Obama for weak economy is kind of like starting pitcher who gave up 8 runs blaming bullpen when team is still behind.

Q: If Twitter is any judge, and of course it is, the most important topic of debate involved binders full of women. What r those again? #kinky

A: Romney said he had them when Mass. gov. Were filled with résumés to help him appoint women to high government offices.

Q: Oh. I guess that’s better than binders full of actual women cause that’s just weird #littlewomen

A: Agreed. But last politician who had binders full of women didn’t do so well #eliotspitzer

Q: Debate went 100 minutes and only 5 questions from voters. Why have real people there if they don’t get to talk. #humanprops

A: It gave Obama and Romney a chance to walk around, even get in each other’s space. Made for good TV #phildonahue

Q: But without the voters, who would have asked about gun control and education reform? Certainly not the moderator. #wholettheminhere

A: They might have gotten there after they’d exhausted their Benghazi and fiscal cliff questions. #beltwayissues

Q: I still can’t get binders full of women out of my head.

A: Who can.

Q: Why did they keep interrupting each other and that nice woman who was moderating? #kindergarten

A: Obama had to repair damage from first debate when voters thought he was asleep. Romney had to keep showing that he’s not intimidated by the president. #kindergarten

Q: Seems juvenile. Isn’t there a better way to pick the leader of the free world?

A: You mean other than Twitter?

Q: I have to go. This exchange has cost me a hundred followers. #yourenohelp

A: Me too. Better go back to retweeting @LarrySabato and @staypuft. #itswhatIdo.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service