#RomneyStrength: The Birth of a Meme

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Here’s how Twitter memes are born. First, one of Mitt Romney’s advisors said this to the Washington Post:

“There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation,” Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, said in an interview….“In Egypt and Libya and Yemen, again demonstrations — the respect for America has gone down, there’s not a sense of American resolve and we can’t even protect sovereign American property.”

A few hours later, Benjy Sarlin of TPM gave the quote this gloss:

A top foreign policy aide to Mitt Romney suggested Thursday that the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens would never have happened if Romney were president. There wouldn’t even be anti-American protests in the Middle East if Romney were in charge, the aide said.

Josh Marshall then tweeted a promo for Sarlin’s piece:

Romney Adviser: If Romney were prez no one wld attack r embassies because of Romney strength.

And thus was born the #RomneyStrength hashtag. A few examples:

@MlTTR0MNEY: A cop pulled me over once. I let him off with a warning. #Romneystrength

@UOJim: Mitt Romney once pulled Corey Booker out of a burning building. #RomneyStrength

@buckaroo1260: He swam the Delaware ahead of Washington to clear the way. #Romneystrength

@radiobobkansas: Lance Armstrong had all those titles taken away because he was caught using #Romneystrength

@Clarknt67: Mitt has fired more people than @realDonaldTrump. #RomneyStrength

@erinscafe: Built his tax shelters with his bare hands. #Romneystrength

@AzureGhost: Can lose his head when all about him are keeping theirs. #Romneystrength

@JoshuaGreen: woulda freed Willie in the first five minutes of the movie. #Romneystrength

So there you have it. Blink and you’d miss it. By Friday it will probably be completely forgotten by all but a few diehard Twitter junkies.

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Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

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