10 Hilarious GIFs and Memes from the Presidential Debate

by Kyle Chayka on October 4, 2012

(Image courtesy

TV by itself is just so boring these days. With the advent of Twitter and Tumblr, watching real-time events on television (like the presidential debate last night) has become a communal, participatory activity in virtual space. Both Buzzfeed and Tumblr fed their audiences a new form of online entertainment by digesting the first 2012 debate between Obama and Romney into GIFs and image macros as the event unfurled on the screen. We’ve selected our ten favorite GIFs and memes from the explosion of online creativity last night.

The punchiest, funniest, and smartest contributions range from remixes of much-maligned moderator Jim Lehrer to mash-ups that make Obama and Romney friends instead of rivals. Check them out below.

1. Michelle Obama after being wished a happy anniversary:

Michelle Obama (Courtesy

2. Mitt Romney jamming out on the piano:

Mitt Romney (Courtesy

3. Obama laying it down:


4. Jim Lehrer calling for calm:


5. Robo-Mitt:

Mitt-Bot (Image by Doug Chayka [author’s cousin], art direction by Jeffrey Alan Love, via

6. Zooming in on Jim Lehrer:


7. Poor Big Bird:

Romney wants to defund PBS — and Big Bird. This one seems to have come from the Obama campaign itself! (Courtesy

8. Everyone’s friends here:


9. Rockin’ Jim Lehrer:


10. And my favorite:


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