The GIF’s remarkable resurgence from obsolete file-format to internet sensation-du-jour is most likely due to Tumblr’s massive userbase and the now-ubiquitous Tumblrs where dogs doing something funny are paired with a pithy description a common situation. But part of the GIF’s success is that GIFs are wonderful tokens that encapsulate a few seconds of video into an endlessly repeating badge. Although there may not be a lot of movement during a presidnetial debate, there will probably be a moment that’s worth sharing with your friends. And the best way to do that will be a GIF, posted real-time during the debates on a dedicated Tumblr.
During the debates, you can find your Obama and Romney GIFs guaranteed to go viral on gifwich.tumblr.com, and you can livestream the debates in a non-repeating fashion at YouTube. There certainly will be no shortage of outlets to watch the debates. But like the first televised presidential debate in 1960, this may be a watershed moment when the GIF goes legitimate.