IOP Tumblr Presents Candid Pics of Cardboard Candidates

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What if you walked into Felipe's for your casual 1:00 a.m. burrito and found Mitt Romney and Barack Obama each polishing off a bowl of guac?

As Obama and Romney duke it out in the battleground states, it's easy to feel ignored in the decidedly blue state of Massachusetts. Hoping to keep political enthusiasm high on campus, the undergraduate organization Election Central has turned to some unconventional means—namely, cardboard cutouts of Romney and Obama and a Tumblr page following their adventures in Cambridge.

Under the tutelage of Election Central members, Romney and Obama's 2-D counterparts seem to have mastered the art of the "common touch." Photos on the "Where Are Barack and Mitt?" Tumblr page show the cutouts earnestly grinning in front of student hubs like HSA Cleaners, Dunkin' Donuts, and Felipe's. The real-life candidates may be multi-millionaires, but their cardboard equivalents are certainly men of the people.

Medha B. Gargeya '14, who started the Tumblr page, said she envisioned the blog as a whimsical way of advertising about political events at the IOP and around campus. Along with photos of the cutouts' late-night escapades in Harvard Square, "Where Are Barack and Mitt?" also provides information about real-life political events.

As for who's allowed to walk the dogs, Election Central has created a schedule detailing where to take the cutouts, who is taking them, and at what time, Gargeya said. Currently, only people who have voiced interest at Election Central meetings can access and edit the schedule, but Election Central might open it to the public if the cutouts become popular, according to Gargeya.

"A lot of times we get bogged down by the issues and ideological battles, but elections are also fun," Gargeya said. "With the cutouts, we're trying to emphasize the more light-hearted side of [the elections]."

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