Once again the Internet has proven its ability to quickly respond to political gaffes. Less than two hours after last night’s Presidential debate ended sites began popping up to support “That One” for President.
For those who might have missed the debate (and shame on you if you did), “That One” is how Senator John McCain referred to Senator Barack Obama when talking about who voted for an energy bill. In response, the Web sites ThatOne2008.com and ThatOne08.com have sprung up to exploit McCain’s rather derisive choice of terms for his opponent. Instead of regarding the term as the dismissive reference that was intended, they’re embracing it.
ThatOne2008.com is a simpler site, with just a video clip of McCain saying “that one” in the debate as well as links to Obama’s campaign site, an Obama iPhone app, and a link to where you can buy shirts that read “I’m voting for that one.”
ThatOne08 takes it a step further, rewriting Obama’s biography information by replacing his name with the words “that one.” It also has its own selection of shirts, as well as a link to a Facebook page for supporters of “That one 08.”
While I respect the speed and creativity of the people who made these sites, it terrifies me to think about the implications of these sites. There were a lot of intelligent and meaningful things said by both candidates in last night’s debate, but gaffes like this are all most people will pay attention to.