Medicaid, KitchenAid ®, Sesame Street, and Twitter’s real-time reactions to 2012’s first presidential debate

President Obama and Governor Romney [Photo courtesy of]

Wednesday night’s first presidential debate of the 2012 election season was met with supercharged anticipation from supporters of both political parties.

Republicans, well aware of Governor Mitt Romney’s debating prowess and President Barack Obama contrasting rustiness given his presidency, were expecting Romney to come out swinging.

Democrats, still buzzing about ‘Money Mitt’s’ 47% video leak and his views on universal healthcare as he explained on ’60 Minutes’, were anxious to see President Obama call out his opponent.

So who ‘won’ last night’s presidential face-off?

Since the official polling results won’t be available for several days, we’ll let Twitter tell it.  And as it turns out, Twitter is a worthy storyteller. According to @gov, the debate was the most tweeted event in U.S. political history – outdoing both the Republican and Democratic Conventions, with over 10.3 million tweets within the 90-minute telecast.

With special guest appearances by @BIGBIRD, a renegade @KitchenAidUSA social media tweeter (no longer tweeting for the company), and the common enemy of the evening – Jim Lehrer – amateur pundits and seasoned journalists alike let their words be heard.

Although there’s no proof of how representative last night’s tweets were of the voting population, there’s no debate that Twitter is able to capture the humor, frustrations, and occasional slip-ups of the American public in real-time.


OBAMA: Well, for 18 months he’s been running on this tax plan. And now, five weeks before the election, he’s saying that his big, bold idea is, “Never mind.”

Jim Lehrer: The Biggest Loser

LEHRER: Excuse me. Excuse me. Just so everybody understands, we’re way over our first 15 minutes.

ROMNEY: It’s fun, isn’t it?

LEHRER: It’s OK, it’s great. No problem. Well, you all don’t have — you don’t have a problem, I don’t have a problem, because we’re still on the economy. We’re going to come back to taxes. I want to move on to the deficit and a lot of other things, too.

OK, but go ahead, sir.

Sesame Street v. Romney


I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That’s number one.

Jim Lehrer loses again…

ROMNEY: That’s — that’s a big topic. Can we — can we stay on Medicare?

OBAMA: Is that a — is that a separate topic?


LEHRER: Yeah, we’re going to — yeah, I want to get to it.

OBAMA: I’m sorry.

LEHRER: But all I want to do is go very quickly…

ROMNEY: Let’s get back to Medicare.

LEHRER: … before we leave the economy…

ROMNEY: Let’s get back to Medicare.


ROMNEY: The president said that the government can provide the service at lower cost and without a profit.

LEHRER: All right.

Tweetdeck Fail

OBAMA: You know, my grandmother, some of you know, helped to raise me. My grandparents did. My grandfather died awhile back. My grandmother died three days before I was elected president.

-KitchenAid Damage Control-

SKMSadé Muhammad is the Digital Coordinator of Oxygen at NBCUniversal and former East Coast NBC Page. She has a foundation in magazine journalism and digital marketing and she prides herself on being a Knicks fan (aka resilient). Connect with Sade on Twitter and LinkedIn