If you watched the Democratic debates on Tuesday and Wednesday, you saw what was, for the most part, a substantive discussion of important issues like health care, immigration and criminal justice.
But if you also sneaked a peak at Twitter after Marianne Williamson spoke of “dark psychic forces” or Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gave a shout-out to Clorox — well, full disclosure, we were doing the same thing. And, let’s be honest: Some of the memes and GIFs were pretty good.
As a public service, we here at The New York Times have rounded them up for you.
We’ll start with Ms. Williamson, who seems to understand how this whole debate thing works. Asked after the Tuesday debate whether it had gone as she had hoped, she told reporters: “I don’t know yet. I mean, I’ll tell you when, you know, later when I see the memes.”
“Dark psychic forces” and “radical truth-telling”
As our colleagues pointed out, Ms. Williamson, the spiritualist and best-selling self-help author, had a reasonably good night. She delivered a sharp answer on reparations that put a specific price tag on her proposal. And her warning about “dark psychic forces” in politics and a promise of “radical truth-telling” struck a chord with some viewers as an example of, well, radical truth-telling.
But not all of the attention was positive. Many observers said they found themselves searching Ms. Williamson’s name for the first time, and in some cases, they were alarmed by what they found. Her views and comments about mental health and antidepressants, for instance, have come under intense scrutiny.
R.I.P., John Delaney?
Former Representative John Delaney of Maryland, a moderate Democrat, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a progressive, sparred for much of the night as each argued for their distinct set of values. At one point, Mr. Delaney took an implicit shot at Ms. Warren, assailing what he called “fairy tale economics.” Moments later, Ms. Warren unloaded one of the most pointed and memorable lines of the night.
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for the president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” Ms. Warren said, and the audience roared.
Someone then took the liberty of editing Mr. Delaney’s Wikipedia page to declare him dead — at the hands of Ms. Warren. (His page has since been restored; Mr. Delaney is not, in fact, dead.)
Mr. Delaney was also asked about Ms. Warren’s proposed wealth tax. Don Lemon, the CNN anchor, pointed out that it would apply to Mr. Delaney, whose net worth has been estimated at more than $90 million, if it became law.
Several viewers noticed that Ms. Warren appeared to rub her hands in gleeful anticipation of Mr. Delaney’s answer — and some were kind enough to provide us with the video clip.
Oh, and there is also this:
“I wrote the damn bill”
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont created a memorable moment amid an argument about health care with Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio.
“Medicare for All is comprehensive,” Mr. Sanders argued. “It covers all health care needs.”
“You don’t know that,” Mr. Ryan interjected. “You don’t know that, Bernie.”
“I do know it,” Mr. Sanders shot back. “I wrote the damn bill!”
The spat was then creatively reinterpreted as seen below.
Cloroxing the Oval Office
It was a fairly good night for Ms. Gillibrand of New York, who landed a few blows on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
And, as some Twitter users pointed out, it may also have been a good night for the Clorox Company because of a zinger Ms. Gillibrand directed at President Trump.
“The first thing that I’m going to do when I’m president,” she said, “is I’m going to Clorox the Oval Office.”
We think that is what they call a “sick burn?”
In his closing statement, Mr. Biden, like many of the candidates, sought to give voters instructions on how to support his campaign.
The problem, though, was that his instructions were a bit perplexing. After most of his rivals had plugged their websites, Mr. Biden told the audience to “go to ‘Joe 30330’ and help me in this fight.”
As many were quick to point out, joe30330.com did not exist at that point.
Best of the rest
We won’t bore you with much more text. But no list would be complete without acknowledging the memes about:
Tim Ryan’s facial expressions
Mr. Sanders being told that he need not yell
And, yes, that classic Elmo meme being reused to great effect
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