During the first presidential debate, Romney's reference to Big Bird spiked highest in debate chatter on social media as well as playing a large role in post-debate conversation for much of the following week. For the vice presidential debate, Vice President Biden's use of the word "malarkey" got the most buzz.
This week, Romney's use of the interesting phrase "binders full of women" is the only debate phrase still under conversation online, helped along by President Obama's campaign and celebrities who support the president.
"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet," Romney explained during the debate on Tuesday, discussing his time as governor of Massachusetts. "I went to a number of women’s groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women."
The Obama campaign released a statement criticizing Romney's attitude toward women as revealed by the story, and Vice President Biden questioned Romney's meaning in an interview on Wednesday morning.
"There is an abundance" of "quality women," Biden told CBS's "This Morning." "I've never had any problem, when there is a job opening, having as many women apply as men."
According to Facebook, the reference to "binders full of women" resulted in a 213,900 percent surge in mentions at one point during the evening. One Facebook page focused around the topic already has 230,000 "likes."
"Binders full of women" was the No. 3 search term associated with the debate on Google, and according to Yahoo, search interest in the term was up 691 percent following the debate.
It was also the moment that celebrities were tweeting about the most the morning after the debate.
a little sluggish squeezing out of my binder this morning #debatehangover— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) October 17, 2012
Good morning, binders and gentlemen!— Joshua Malina (@JoshMalina) October 17, 2012
I hear @bravotv is renaming The Real Housewives "Binder Full Of Women".— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) October 17, 2012
I admit, I've never had a binder full of women either.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 17, 2012
"TheRepublicanParty: Binders of Women" Women bound to unequal pay. Women bound to carry every fetus to term. Women bound 2 the 19th century.— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 17, 2012