First Big Bird, then "binders full of women"

First Big Bird and then “binders full of women.”

Use some awkward phrasing or catch TV viewers by surprise and the next thing you know, your comments have gone viral the way “binders full of women” did after Republican presidential candidate Mitt referenced it during Wednesday night’s debate.

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This image released by Disguise, Inc. shows a woman modeling a variation of Big Bird costume for women. Halloweencostumes.com sold out after Gov. Romney's remark during the first presidential debate Oct. 3. Disguise Inc., Sesame Workshop's official costume maker, said interest is up among the thousands of retailers it services.

Romney, who once served as governor of Massachusetts, had been talking about his efforts to get more female candidates for openings in his administration when he let the unfortunate phrase slip during the presidential debate. He said he’d gone to women’s groups asking for help and wound up with “binders full of women.”

I asked Alle Aufderhaar, senior vice president at the digital marketing agency Organic (www.organic.com) her advice for avoiding such distractions during the next presidential debate and she said, “It’s, 'how do the candidates and their teams figure out how to respond when those social embers get ignited.'”

The sooner the response is done, the better. Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney uttered his now infamous “binders full of women” remark, the domain name was snapped up. Meanwhile, folks were naming Twitter accounts after the eyebrow-raising turn of phrase.

“I think binders touched a nerve because it was so parochial,” Aufderhaar told me. “There was something in that that really touched a nerve for a lot of people. I’m one of them.”

Same here.

Still, you’ve got to feel a little for presidential candidates' speaking off the top of their heads as they say, while people at home are poised over their keyboards waiting for just the right moment to seize upon. Auferhaar agreed saying, “Four years ago, there weren’t as many people photoshopping big binders or uploading things onto YouTube.”

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