In 2009, Senator John McCain took a trip to Libya to meet with the country's leaders including Muammar Qaddafi. The country's state sponsored news agency claimed that McCain praised Qaddafi for supposed peacemaking in Africa.
McCain didn't say much about the trip, but on August 15, 2009, he did tweet, "Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his "ranch" in Libya - interesting meeting with an interesting man."
Fast forward two years and McCain's tone had changed. The chumminess was all gone. "Qaddafi on his way out, Bashar al Assad is next," he tweeted Sunday.
But in the virtual world of Twitter, his old tweet sprung back to life. Last night I started seeing the 2009 tweet over and over. When McCain's communications team wanted to associate him with Qaddafi's exit, some Twitter users wanted to remind people of his previous meetings with the Libyan leader. They even used the service's "official" retweet option, so we knew for sure that McCain had commented on Qaddafi's ranch.
Call it a zombie retweet. Like the instant version of The Daily Show's elephantine video recall, Twitter users exhumed the long ago post and got it moving virally at a key moment when McCain clearly wouldn't have wanted such a thing to happen.