The New York Times' Anand Giridharadas nailed it while tweeting about tonight's Tea Party/CNN showdown, "Fascinating to have a sitting president live-tweet the other party's primary debate @BarackObama," he wrote.
And indeed it is. Tonight, @BarackObama put out several tweets about the content of the Republican debate, mostly to link people back to the Obama 2012 campaign's GOP Debate Tracker. We all know, of course, that the campaigns watched each other, but it's fascinating to watch it in real-time, 14 months ahead of the election. It's like watching the champ shadowboxing to the televised fight of an opponent.
The Obama campaign is focusing on when GOP candidates "double down" or "backtrack" on their previously stated positions. One example: Texas Governor Rick Perry called social security a "Ponzi scheme" again tonight, which the Obama team noted as a double down. "It's been called a Ponzi scheme long before me..." Perry said, "but we're going to fix it so that our young Americans will know that there were some people who came along that didn't lie to them."
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Alexis C. Madrigal is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.