The 2016 presidential election really should just be called "The Internet Wars" – the latest episode in the online drama shows one candidate yet again making a jab at another through a campaign website. Rick Santorum's website mocks Hillary Clinton and her email scandal by featuring her as part of its error page.
The photo of choice, which shows Clinton donning black sunglasses while on her Blackberry, is no accident. Tumblr blog Texts from Hillary made the image famous by featuring it with imaginary texts Clinton would have sent to celebrities and other politicians. In fact, when Clinton first joined Twitter, she used the very same photo as her avatar. But after her email scandal, in which it was revealed she used a private account while she was secretary of state, Clinton took the photo down.
So for Santorum to bring the photo back on his site, it's pretty clear he's not holding anything back when it comes to the biggest Democratic threat. Referencing Clinton's explanation for why she used a private server for her emails, the photo shows a search box coupled with this message:
We're sorry, but we couldn't find that page. But we do have this search box. You know, "for convenience."
While Santorum's website definitely went to snark route, other candidates' 404 pages had a little more fun. Hillary Clinton's gives an awesome TBT photo of the Clinton family with Donald Duck, captioned "Oops, that link wasn’t what it was quacked up to be.” Bernie Sanders showcases a video of the Vermont senator assuring visitors they'll be OK and motioning them to navigate to another page.
The quest to be the coolest candidate online has candidates willing to try any strategy, from goofy merchandise to crazy viral videos. But while some of the Internet play has been intentional, there have certainly been some gaffes along the way. Let's not forget Republican candidate Carly Fiorina and #Domaingate, which broke soon after she announced her presidential bid earlier this month. While her official website is CarlyFiorina.com, someone registered CarlyFiorina.org and showed 30,000 sad faces to symbolize the number of workers who were laid off during Fiorina's tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. And then a week later, a strange twist of events revealed HillaryClinton.net redirected to Fiorina's campaign site.
Santorum is certainly not the last GOP candidate that'll enter the race (I'm looking at you Jeb), and his website's 404 page is just the beginning of what'll be a highly contested race. The 2016 elections are going to be a fun one to watch, and there's no doubt more online jokes are on their way.