Horses, bayonets and 'Obama bin Laden' among top debate tweets

9:46 AM, Oct 23, 2012   |    comments
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Bob Schieffer moderated the final debate between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- As President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney shared their views on Afghanistan and Libya during the final debate before the Nov. 6 election, Twitter users conveyed their boredom.

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"Zzzzz" was a theme in many tweets, as were declarations of abandoning the verbal contest for the football game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears.

"Looking at the GWU (George Washington University) course guide for Spring 2013. Things I'm doing while listening to the debate," Gordon Chaffin, @Gordon_Chaffin, of Washington, D.C.

"Decided to skip live-watching debate in favor of a long run and catch up via Twitter instead," tweeted Silveraspen, @silveraspen, of Colorado. "It appears this was the right choice."

China Cat Sunflower, @haleigherin, of New Hampshire and Vermont, tweeted: "is this even a debate? im falling asleep."

And though there was no moment to compare with Romney's declaration in the first debate that he loved Big Bird, Twitter followers latched onto an instance when Obama mocked a criticism by former Massachusetts governor Romney, who said the Navy has fewer ships than it had in 1916.

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"Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets," the president said.

The debate overall was the topic of 6.5 million tweets -- fewer than those of the first two president debates or the vice presidential debate.

The "horses and bayonets" comment seemed to be the peak moment, setting off 105,767 tweets per minute by those using the #debates hashtag.

By 10:30 p.m. ET, one of several Facebook pages with the "horses and bayonets" theme had generated 561 "likes." The page had a clip from the movie Gettysburg and pictures of people on horses with bayonets. Facebook user Max Bauer posted on the page, "Is anyone watching the debate?"

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After the debate, a #horsesandbayonets hashtag, or search term, was growing in popularity and a website titled CavalryMenForRomney.com emerged. A Twitter handle called Horses and Bayonets, or @HorseBayonet, cropped up, too, but it attracted only four followers and generated just 11 tweets. One read, "The amount of foreign policy being debated tonight was the smallest it's been since 1917."

Moderator Bob Schieffer's slip of the tongue when he made reference to Obama bin Laden, as opposed to Osama bin Laden, generated some buzz on Twitter. Twitter followers expressed surprise at the gaffe by the host of CBS' Face the Nation.

Songwriter/musician Melanie Iglesias, @MelanieIglesias, tweeted, "Obama's Bin Laden Uhoh, Bob!"

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