The US Presidential Debates in Memes, GIFs, and Still Images

In the aftermath of the final presidential debate for this campaign season, I only thought it proper to go back and re-live the highlights of the three presidential debates through the power of GIFs and other forms of media. And when you’re looking for GIFs, where do you go? Tumblr, of course.

In my experience, Tumblr is filled with people who can dish out very insightful political commentary without sounding patronizing or annoying. Also,  people there can catch the smallest phrases and make those who said it seem ridiculous in retrospect. These people can call you out over the smallest mistake, something that takes the rest of the world a little bit longer to do. I am proud to be a member of the Tumblr community.

Anyway, you might have noticed that the presidential debates were filled with a lot of quotable quotes. You might be familiar with some of them. I firmly believe that these quotations were first noticed by Tumblr users and were quickly turned into GIFs or captioned images that will tickle your funny bone.

This blog post collects some of the best Tumblr posts (as well as a few from other seedy places) on the presidential debates for your entertainment. Give the page a moment to load, GIFs are pretty heavy stuff after all.

First Presidential Debate

The first presidential debate was something akin to torture for Democrats–the President was a limp rag beside the cool and confident Romney. However, Romney didn’t survive that debate unscathed. His remarks about cutting funding for PBS and killing Big Bird almost made the Internet crash. Here are some of the best things to come out of that wording gaffe:

Aside from the whole Big Bird thing, there was also a lot of talk about how the two candidates treated each other during the debate. Some of the best on the topic are:

Second Presidential Debate

The second debate shook things up a bit by putting the candidates in a town hall setting. The first problem with this was that the audience, who were allowed to ask questions, didn’t come from a varied group. This resulted in the debate being a re-hash of topics that have already been discussed. On the upside, Obama performed better this time. Another upside: Romney’s got another quotable quote–binders full of women.

In a nutshell, Romney said that in the past, he wanted women in his office or something and his people gave him ‘binders full of women’ to choose from. The comment didn’t do him any good and it set fire to the Internet, spawning two Twitter accounts (this one, and this one) within hours of the debate.

Even Clinton got dragged into the whole thing:

This debate also became quite famous because it got quite heated just a few minutes into the whole thing.

During the debate, one of the members of the audience asked about gun control. Something about AK-47s being sold on the streets or something. Romney’s response was nothing short of confusing.

And, like I told you before, here’s Romney with his children of God comment again.

Anyway, here’s the entire debate in one image:

Third Presidential Debate

The final debate was more of a roundtable discussion, and it allowed the candidates to interact with each other more. It’s also about foreign policy. The most popular opinion after the debate:

I mean seriously, Romney was off his game when it comes to foreign policy. Author and vlogger John Green summarized Romney’s experience in this tweet:

Also, like in the last two debates, Romney answered questions directed at him the same way–by completely ignoring the question and diverting the focus of the audience to Massachusetts.

But what is hands down the best moment of the last debate was when Obama countered Romney’s military plan. Obama basically schooled Romney in how to be commander in chief by saying the following:

“You mentioned the Navy, for example — that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land… we have ships that go underwater — nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of ‘Battleship,’ where we’re counting ships.”

Obama’s horses and bayonets quip spawned a lot of Tumblr posts and entire sites, as well as Tweets and Facebook pages. My favorite would have to bethis collection of images. Some of the best from this site are the following:

Oh wait no, I have another image that I’d like to leave you with. It’s a photo of the moderator in the third debate creeping on the Romney/Obama ship.

The elections are just a few weeks away people. Go vote. 


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