Tuesday, October 26, 2010

RPOF = Trendsetters? Apparently!

We in the Grand Old Party are often unfairly branded as being "not cool."  OK, yes, we're the same party that ran John "More Likely to Break a Hip than BE Hip" McCain for President in 2008, and I've often said that one thing Democrats do better is coming up with catchy T-shirt slogans, sometimes the Republican Party really can be the trendsetter...

Case in point: last night's debate between gubernatorial (Does anyone else giggle a little bit at how the first part of that word is "goober"?  Just me?  OK, then...) debate between Rick Scott and Alex Sink.

After one of the commercial breaks, Scott made a reference to Sink violating the debate rules, getting a message from a staffer on some sort of cell phone (looked like an iPhone) shown to her by her makeup artist during the break.  Campaigns always negotiate and make agreements about the format and rules of a debate beforehand, and apparently the agreement for yesterday's debate included not getting notes (which arguably would include a message displayed on a cell phone).  The Miami Herald's Naked Politics blog posted the agreement both campaigns signed, confirming that Sink was not supposed to get any notes during the debate.

During the debate, Twitter was all aflutter with politico-types discussing who scored what points, what silly things were said, who sounded more like a politician and more like a leader, and then there was this tweet, from one of the moderators of the debate, Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times:
@adamsmithtimes: Alex Sink cheated during Fla gov debate http://bit.ly/cBHJ1H
Smith made that post almost immediately after the debate ended, along with the link to a blog post with the same bold print headline:  "Alex Sink cheated during the debate."  Alex Sink Cheated.  Ouch.  That's a pretty brutal smackdown from the moderator of the debate, especially after she spent most of the hour whining about how she was the most ethical and just-shiny-perfect candidate in the race.

The other moderator, CNN's John King, weighed in too, with a YouTube video of the incident, including what happened during the commercial break when Sink got her illicit little communication, under the title, "Alex Sink caught breaking debate rules:"

Anyway, Adam Smith's initial tweet and blog post got everyone all atwitter (Heh!) and the debate discussion (at least among the people I follow, which is admittedly not a scientific sample, but anyway...) almost completely turned away from all other topics concerning the debate to talk about Sink's violation of the debate rules.

And of course, in the typical super-snarky way of the internet, several people quickly made suggestions for what to call the cheating scandal.  MakeupArtistGate?  Too long.  Then I saw something that was just the perfect description, especially considering that the phone apparently used to pass on the offending message was an iPhone: iCheat.  When I saw that, I immediately thought, oh, that is FANTASTIC.

Curious, I did a search on Twitter after I got home for the term to see who came up with it first.  After going back to the time the debate started, I discovered that the first use of the term "iCheat" to refer to Alex Sink's debate cheating was @FloridaGOP, the official Twitter account for RPOF.

Well done, y'all!  Snarky and very clever.  I was not expecting such creativity from an "official" party or candidate Twitter account.  The term was definitely my favorite of the night, and I made up this little logo (feel free to share, just give me credit):
It's just a parody.  Please don't sue me, Steve Jobs.
Well apparently, the term resonated with the Scott campaign, because they sent out an email last night with "iCheat" as the subject line, and their own cute little graphic:

Sorry, Alex, but AT&T's crappy network is not gonna help you out of this one.
The email, from Scott campaign manager Susie Wiles, mentioned the cheating, quoted Adam Smith's tweet, and said:
...During the debate, there was a moment that crystallized the stakes in this election. Alex Sink broke the rules agreed to by both campaigns prior to the debate when she was shown a message on an iPhone by an aide during one of the commercial breaks. It was especially ironic because she cheated right after an exchange about ethical conduct...

...It is very unusual for a moderator to feel compelled to make such a judgment following a debate, but it is also unheard of for a candidate to so recklessly ignore an agreement.
Floridians deserve a governor who respects their agreements and tonight, after her iCheat episode, it’s clear that Alex Sink will do anything to get elected.
What did you think about the debate?  Do you think Sink "cheated" or is this much ado about nothing?  What about the fact that Sink apparently fired the staffer responsible for sending the message with the makeup artist?  Did he or she deserve to lose their job?

1 comment:

  1. It really does not matter what it was, cheating in my opinion. All the chatter about the debate is about how Alex Sink cheated. When voters hear that, it will help them decide to go towards Scott.


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