Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Obama gets the Cool Points

By Dana Reynolds

Newsflash:  Mitt Romney is out of touch.  While this hardly counts as news, it is always fun when presidential candidates are called out on national television.  Romney, eager to present his negative statistics, criticized President Obama's lack of military spending citing that the US Navy has fewer ships now than it did in 1917.  Obama, seeing an opportunity to spear his opponent sarcastically, told Romney that yes, the Navy does have fewer ships but it also has "fewer horses and bayonets."  He goes on to enlighten the governor about the finer points of naval warfare explaining "We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines." 

As has been the case this entire Presidential election, the Twitter-verse was set a fire and "Horses and Bayonets" starting trending.  Countless depictions of Obama and Romney on horseback carrying, but what else, bayonets splashed across the internet.  This popular meme follows "Women in Binders," Romney's awkward response to gender equality in the workplace, and "I love Big Bird" but the Governor would still cut federal funding to Public Broadcasting. 

Is there anything to be said about the court of Twitter opinion, or are these memes just cyber-pokes from bored internet geeks?  The answer could be both.  While, yes, the internet is hardly the place to conduct scientific polls, the extent of social media's impact on elections is a phenomena we have not even begun to measure.  However, could added exposure ever hurt a presidential candidate?  Well, maybe if Big Bird flips you the big bird via internet meme, saying "You like me?  Well I f---ing hate you, Mitt."

The point being, if the election was decided on social media alone, Obama would win by a landslide.  Obama has 21.2 million Twitter followers, to Mitt Romney's 1.5 million.  Obama's campaign sent out 37 tweets during the second debate, which were re-tweeted 117, 374 times.  This is in comparison to Romney's camp that only sent out 2 tweets, which were re-tweeted 6,810 times. Finally Obama's Facebook page records 31.1 million "likes" while Romney's records only 10.2.  

Romney's camp, perhaps the Republicans as whole, seem to have missed the social media train leaving all the young Facebooking voters to Obama.  While some "cool" baby boomers might disagree, Facebook and Twitter are ownership of the Gen X and Yers.  Again not a scientific fact, but if my mother is representative of the norm ("Why doesn't anyone 'like' me?), I believe this to be a true statement.  This attitude seems to reflect the "old" stereotype given to the Republicans, which of course is code for "out-of-touch."  This is not a wholly biased opinion given that the Dems won 63% of the 30 and under vote in 2008.

If there were any "scientific" evidence to prove Obama's cool factor, it would definitely be his response to Clint Eastwood and, in turn, the entire Republican Party.  After Eastwood attacked a chair at the GOP national convention, that is, debated an imaginary Obama and lost, Mr. President took to his Twitter account posting a picture of himself sitting at his desk in the Oval Office.  The caption read, "This seat's taken."  Cool, Obama, very cool.

Dana Reynolds