Just like the Oscars and the Super Bowl, the race to the White House is set to capture the attention of the world this year.
And just as with those movie awards and the big game, for many of us it's not really about watching career achievers fulfill a lifelong dream to rise to the top of their field. It's about dissecting their every action on Twitter and turning their successes and myriad failures into hilarious memes.
Since October, Twitter has been collating the life's work of us mere Twitter users -- our memes, our jokes, our pithy rejoinders -- into what it calls Moments. These curated feeds of tweets bring together all the news and discussion around the hot topics of the day, as a way of distilling a yearlong road to a championship game or a lifelong road to the leadership of the free world into a single screen. Convenient!
But who makes the call on what's newsworthy? That's up to Twitter's team of Moments curators, headed up by global curation lead Andrew Fitzgerald.
So as the US presidential primaries heat up, and with Super Tuesday now here, we spoke to Fitzgerald to get his pick of the political Moments that have so far shaped the run-up to the 2016 elections in November.
The Artful Schmear pic.twitter.com/dGJZyOr2hV— Kelsey D. Atherton (@AthertonKD) February 5, 2016
Topping Fitzgerald's list of Moments from the presidential primary season so far is Bernie Sanders' brush with bagels. When Sanders fronted up at the Democratic debate in February, rival Hillary Clinton took him to task for the "artful smear" that Sanders and his team had supposedly carried out against Clinton during the campaign.
As a former senator from New York, Clinton should know that this rainbow bagel is what a true artful smear looks like.
Ben Carson and fruit salad https://t.co/Baogs1gIiB— POLITICO (@politico) February 26, 2016
Staying in foodstuffs, Twitter lit up when Republican candidate Ben Carson "brought a fruit salad to a knife fight," in the words of the Moments curation team. When asked how he would choose a Supreme Court justice, Carson said it would be down to a potential nominee's history of decision making -- the "fruit salad of their life" if you will. Cue delicious Vines.
It is still unclear where Carson stands on the important case of Apple v. Melon.
Once again man of the Moments, Carson got caught backstage at the GOP debate on February 6, forgetting the first rule he was supposed to learn in presidential pageant school: Don't miss your cue. Instead, he looked more like Mr. Congeniality as he let his rivals politely walk past him, leaving viewers at home to scream at their TVs, "Just go on! You're making it worse! ...No, don't go backwards!"
Hundreds of Trump fans are lined up outside the school, including these guys: pic.twitter.com/NPrg56Pm0F— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) October 16, 2015
Washington Post political reporter Jenna Johnson has been charged with covering Donald Trump, and in October, she took to Twitter to curate her own Moment from the campaign trail in Massachusetts. According to Fitzgerald, curation partners like Johnson help to "extend the experience" on Twitter.
Just days before Super Tuesday, Twitter (in its infinite, hive-mind wisdom) ruled that Trump had lost his most recent GOP debate, as rival candidates Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz took him to task over his political record. What better way to capture the moment than with a nod to "Spongebob Squarepants"? But even as Twitter's curators declared that Rubio had "pounded" Trump, they were left asking, "Will it matter?"
It hasn't been all wins for Cruz. After his campaign team tried to photoshop a picture of Rubio shaking hands with President Barack Obama, Twitter lit up with similarly dodgy image-editing jobs and stock photos gone-wrong. That said, who wouldn't be tempted to vote for a person who'd been to space and appeared in the "Rocky" films.
Proving that she can rock sequins and drop rhymes with the best of them, Sarah Palin played the role of the Ghost of Campaigns Past in January, offering her endorsement to Donald Trump and inviting comparisons with pop singer Iggy Azalea. What's the difference between a hockey mom and a struggling slam poet? Lipstick.
Who knows what other awkward moments and big news the primaries will bring? We wait in eager anticipation.
As Jeb Bush once said, please clap.
It's election year, when candidates hit the campaign trail and craft sound bites they hope will win votes while attacking the opposition. More than ever, 2016 will be the year the politicians, pundits, pollsters and people turn to Facebook, Twitter and other social media to deliver their messages. CNET News' reporters will be there to help you cut through the noise and figure out what they're really talking about.
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