What Did This David Axelrod Tweet About Mormons Mean?

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  • Mitt Romney
    Mitt Romney
    United States Senator

Obama strategist David Axelrod tweeted a not-quite-decipherable message Monday that included a link to a story about Mormon women being erroneously barred from some official ceremonies because they were menstruating. Then he deleted the tweet. What does it all mean?!

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"Wring URS. This is the Medicare story," Axelrod tweeted at 2:36p.m. with a link to the Salt Lake Tribune story, "Menstruating Mormons barred from temple proxy baptisms?" In that story, Peggy Fletcher Stack, reports:

Mormon feminists recently learned that some young women were wrongly blocked from doing LDS proxy baptisms – which include wearing all-white clothing and being fully immersed in water – because they were menstruating... Trouble is, such a ban is bogus. 

Interesting story, but it's not clear why Axelrod would link to it.

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One theory is that he has a long history of antagonizing Mitt Romney on Twitter "If Twitter Is Any Clue, Axelrod Thinks a Lot About Romney," The New York Times noticed in January. That same month, Axelrod posted a tongue-in-cheek tweet about the proper way to take dogs on a road trip, a not so subtle reference to Crate-gate. But a Tweet about Mormon women being barred from LDS rituals due to their periods is something else entirely. What does "wring" mean? And what is URS? We may never know: Axelrod quickly deleted it. (But you can see it at left.) Then followed-up at 3:25p.m., "This is proper link to Medicare story. Mitt won't take it, but most Americans would lose under Mitt-Ryan voucher." That tweet linked to a report Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn about Romney deciding not to enroll in Medicare on Monday, his 65th birthday.

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Since nothing that's been on the internet ever really disappears, we have the chance to analyze it. Three conclusions to be drawn from this tweet, from least innocent to most

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1. It was an on-purpose accident: Axelrod wanted  to promote the idea that Mormons are weird (which the campaign supposedly considered promoting) and tie it to the Republican war on women. 

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2. It was a Twitter mistake: Axelrod was trying to send a direct message to an Obama 2012 staffer, like, "how can we use the Mormon issue?" but sent it wide.

3. It was a major Twitter mistake: Like all compulsive tweeters, Axelrod sends his friends links to weird things on Twitter, and experienced a direct message and link-shortening fail. 

Update: Obama's campaign emails: "David mistakenly tweeted out a link to the wrong story and immediately corrected it." 

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