The most substantive moments of last night’s presidential debate may have been President Obama and Mitt Romney’s heated exchanges over Libya and energy policy. But the Internet has its own favorite: Romney’s pronouncement that he was given “binders full of women” to fill jobs in his cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts. That came in response to a question about the glass ceiling and gender bias in pay.
Before the debate even ended, a meme had sprouted on social media. Within minutes, a Tumblr account appeared, with crowd-sourced parody images that included Hillary Clinton, an ’80s teen idol, and Beyoncé. By this morning, the Facebook community “Binders Full of Women” had more than 250,000 members.
In a debate full of curious phrasing, why did Romney’s binders comment stand out? Slate’s Amanda Marcotte wrote that the inelegant phrase resonated because it underlined Romney’s “utter unwillingness to address the true causes of inequality.”