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With Twitter and Tumblr, debate spin will occur in real time

October 03, 2012|By Christi Parsons

WASHINGTON -- After Wednesday night’s debate is over, both campaigns will send representatives into the nearby “spin room” to check, challenge and spin the evening’s proceedings their way.

But the spin game will be an hour and a half old by that point, judging by the campaigns’ plans to start the process right when the candidates take the stage.

Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign will respond to charges lodged against him via Twitter. Where longer responses seem necessary, they’ll link to Tumblr, a spokeswoman said.

President Obama’s campaign will also fact-check by tweet. Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter hopes for a multiplier effect, as the campaign attempts to deputize the president’s supporters to spin the people in their networks.

“When you watch the debate tonight, bring your laptop with you,” Cutter told backers Wednesday on a Web video. Follow the facts on the feed, she said, providing “everything you need to share them with your friends and family.”

Viewers who bothered to tune in to a debate used to have time to judge it on their own before hearing commentary from outside the living room.

The instant comment may make it harder for candidates to twist the facts, but it can also crowd out personal judgment -- a likely factor in the bipolarization of American politics.

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Twitter: @cparsons

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