Now that both presidential ballots are official, the online component of the campaign is getting a little chippy.
Early this afternoon the official Obama campaign Tumblr account pulled no punches while captioning a Paul Ryan infographic. In a snarky effort to "introduce" Obama Tumblr followers to the newly chosen Republican vice presidential candidate, the caption asks viewers to "Meet Paul Ryan, who is actually the worst."
In a little over an hour, the picture and caption have received nearly 2,000 notes on Tumblr (including reblogs and comments) and been passed around in political circles on Twitter. Plus, news organizations active on Tumblr have even reblogged the post with commentary, with Newsweek adding it "would really like to hear the president use this new talking point." So far neither camp has released any statement on the Tumblr caption, but you can bet the Romney/Ryan machine will counter with similar levels of snark going forward—or loads of feigned righteous indignation.
Tumblr has cemented itself as a place where even legacy news organizations can let their hair down and join the din of modern Internet chatter, adding gifs, still images and irreverent humor to current events and pop culture. While the Obama campaign caption isn't unusual in the world of Tumblr, such language is a decidedly more casual, even cheeky (or harsh, depending on your point of view) than many have come to expect from a presidential campaign.
But don't expect the barbs to stop from either side. With both tickets officially set, the race to win the favor of the Internet crowd will be as hard fought as any grassroots door-to-door initiatives. Politico noted today that Paul Ryan's appointment adds a strong social media presence to the Romney campaign, and according to BuzzFeed's Zeke Miller, it took less than 48 hours for Paul Ryan to surpass Vice President Joe Biden in the all-important metric of Facebook likes.