QUESTION: Is the Big Bird Debate in the presidential race getting out of control?
Poor Big Bird.
Once a tall, yellow puppet in America's most kid-friendly neighborhood, the Sesame Street icon has now found himself (we think it's a him) at the center of the ugliest of contests: the presidential race.
After Republican challenger Mitt Romney stated that he'd cut funding to PBS during the last debate, Big Bird has become a poticial lightening rod. The comment set off a flurry of Tweets the night of the debate and became part of the water-cooler discussion the following day.
Yes. Big Bird. The nasaly, 7-foot-tall creature who mingles with the likes of Elmo and Snuffaluffagus.
Now, his name is under discussion in The Beltway by such political personalities as James Carville and Fox News.
The reason? President Barack Obama's campaign has hammered Romney's Big Bird reference to highlight the challenger's fiscal priorities.
"Thank God someone is getting tough on Big Bird," Obama said during a stump speech last week in Denver. "We didn't know Big Bird was driving the deficit."
The campaign even released a television ad that's ruffling some feathers. (No pun intended)
But the Romney campaign counters that it's a sad commentary when the president cares more about a kid-oriented puppet rather than fixing the economy.
On Tuesday, Big Bird was all the talk among D.C. media. "Obama's Big Bird Bet," read Politico.com's top story for much of the day.
The political spotlight on the winged celebrity became so intense that Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind Sesame Street, asked the president's campaign to remove the television ad, saying that it's a nonpartisan organization.
Ad or not, the fact is Big Bird has been thrust into the center of the race for the country's highest office.
We ask you, Patch users, is the debate over Big Bird in the presidential race out of control? Which candidate comes out looking worse? Tell us in the comments below.