The Great Romney Cheat Sheet Conspiracy!

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Mitt Romney subtly took something out of his pocket and put it on his podium at the presidential debate Wednesday night, and it's a big deal, because no notes were allowed. Was it a cheat sheet? The Internet has already given us frame-by-frame analysis and super-slow-motion video. We are contributing the GIF, for your looped viewing pleasure.

A Romney campaign aide told BuzzFeed's Zeke Miller that it was "a handkerchief."

That's believable, because Romney's been hoarse recently, and his nose and upper lip looked a little ruddy at the debate, like he'd had to blow his nose a lot, as you can see at left. 

The most extensive analysis of Romney's kleenex/cheat sheet comes from the Daily Kos. Just as the most extensive analysis of how the polls might have been cheating Romney comes from conservative sites. Everyone loves a good conspiracy, as long as it shows the other guy won by cheating.

Update: Philip Bump points out a still from the debate in which you can see the hanky in action:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.