(WASHINGTON) — The Internet meme that propelled Ryan Gosling to viral Internet heartthrob status took a turn for the political this week, setting its hunky photo captioning prowess upon House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
Both Twitter and Tumblr lit up with photos of the Republican budget maker, overlaid with quirky economy-related tag lines, such as the “Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan” meme was born.
“Hey Girl, go ahead and splurge on those shoes,” reads one of the photos posted to the “Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan” microblogging website Tumblr Tuesday. “I’m saving trillions by reforming entitlement programs.”
Over a photo of Ryan gazing forward while resting his chin on his hand, another post reads: “Girl, there’s a deficit in my heart that only you and an unbridled private sector can fill.”
The 5-term congressman has made a name for himself both on and off Capitol Hill of late by proposing sweeping changes to the country’s budget, which include deep spending cuts to bring down the federal deficit.
His budget plan passed through the House this year with virtually no Democratic support and was declared dead-on-arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Ryan is supposedly on the short list of vice presidential picks for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The two campaigned together last month in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin.
While Ryan is perhaps the highest-profile politician to be made into a “Hey Girl” meme, the online sensation first went viral last year when photos of actor Ryan Gosling were paired with charming phrases such as “Hey Girl, sometimes I get so sad when we can’t watch ‘Golden Girls’ together.”
A similarly simple photo-stream meme made its first salvo into the political realm when two photos of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, clad in sunglasses and texting on her BlackBerry aboard a C-17 military plane, were used to create “Texts from Hillary.”
The site paired the photos of Clinton with images of other celebrities (from Oprah to Romney) holding their cellphones along with their imagined text messages.
The Tumblr site soon went viral, and even got a shout-out from Clinton, who met with the site’s creators and posted an imagined text of her own.
Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker earned himself a spot in Internet memedom as well, after he ran into a burning house to save his neighbor in April.
Days later the site “Super Corey Booker” was born, showcasing photos of a fierce-looking Booker saying, “Time to run into burning buildings and chew bubble gum… and I’m all outta gum!”
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