Presidential politics has become a contest of shiny objects and puppies. Only, we don't call them shiny objects, we call them "memes," Jay Evensen says in his latest column. Read Evensen's take on how Romney's "binders full of women" is just another meme-stream distraction. Here's a look at some other "shiny objects" from presidential campaigns.
Mitt Romney's father, George Romney, saw his political career collapse in 1967 after he said his earlier support of the Vietnam War was due to "brainwashing" by U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Vietnam. "Brainwashed" was a meme that stuck to him.
>> Michigan Gov. George Romney, Republican presidential candidate, speaks on Vietnam to an audience of students and Keene State Teachers College in Keene, N.H., Jan. 15, 1968. He is in New Hampshire seeking votes for the March 12 presidential primary. (AP Photo/Frank C. Curtin)
Mitt Romney was answering a question about fair pay for women during Tuesday's town hall presidential debate. While Pres. Obama mentioned the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which he signed into law, Romney spoke of his efforts to hire women into his cabinet when he was Massachusetts governor. He said he asked women's groups to help and, he said, "They brought us whole binders full of women."
>> Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney answers a question during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)
During an event in Roanoke, Va., President Barack Obama said, "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."
The Romney campaign pounced on the remark, using it in ads and as inspiration for the theme of the Republican National Convention. The Obama campaign accused them of taking his words out of context.
>> In this Monday, Sept. 10, 2012 file photo, audience members bow their heads during an invocation during a campaign event for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Mansfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
During the Oct. 3 debate with President Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer, “I’m sorry Jim. I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m gonna stop other things. I like PBS, I like Big Bird, I actually like you too.”
The Obama campaign took the remark and turned it into a television ad, while public broadcasting supporters began developing a Million Puppet March scheduled for Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C.
>> In this Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 file photo, members of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund dressed in Sesame Street costumes hold a protest next to supporters of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, outside a campaign stop for Romney in Van Meter, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
In 1964, the Lyndon Johnson campaign exaggerated Barry Goldwater's position on national defense. The "Daisy" ad, a TV commercial featuring a little girl, a daisy and a detonated atomic bomb, portrayed Goldwater as dangerous. His slogan, "In your heart you know he's right" was caricatured as, "In your guts you know he's nuts."
>> This combination of images made from video made available by the Democratic National Committee via the LBJ Library shows a girl plucking petals from a flower, left, and a mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion in a 1964 presidential campaign television commercial titled "Peace, Little Girl" and known as the "Daisy Spot" made by the DNC for Lyndon B. Johnson in his race against former Sen. Barry Goldwater. (AP Photo/Democratic National Committee)
In 1973, Nixon defended his record on the Watergate case, telling in an hour-long Q&A session with Associated Press managing editors. During the event, Nixon said, "I'm not a crook."
>> President Richard Nixon speaks near Orlando, Fla. to the Associated Press Managing Editors annual meeting, Nov. 17, 1973. Nixon told the APME "I am not a crook." (AP Photo)
During a 1999 interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gore said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."
His words were used against him, and the meme developed, suggesting that Gore claimed to have invented the Internet.
>> Students listen as Vice President Al Gore talks at Pacoima Elementary School in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 31, 1998 where he announced new budget initiatives to increase access for students to new technologies such as the Internet. (AP Photo/Jill Connelly)
Joe Biden's laugh during the vice presidential debate and his use of the term "Malarky!" became memes reflecting parts of his personality.
>> Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, right, watches as Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
During an interview on ABC News, Gov. Sarah Palin was asked what insight she had gained from living so close to Russia. She answered, "They're our next door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."
During a Saturday Night Live sketch, Tina Fey, playing the character of Sarah Palin, said, "I can see Russia from my house."
During a GOP convention speech in 2008, former Sen. Fred Thompson said Palin was "the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field-dress a moose . . . with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt."
>>Republican vice-presidential candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin, gestures during a campaign speech Monday morning, Oct. 6, 2008 in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
A 1998 video shows Obama speaking at a conference at Loyola University, where he said there is a need to "pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution."
>> Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. listens to a question after delivering a policy speech in Bettendorf, Iowa, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007. Speaking about the economy Obama said, "We need to give working families a break. For 25 years we've seen gaps in wealth grow larger while our tax code favors wealth over work." (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)