Remembering ‘You Forgot Poland’: Where Were You, Internet? It’s Debate Night in America. The first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will play out not only on your television but on Twitter, cable news, YouTube, Facebook statuses, news sites, political blogs, Tumblr, Reddit threads and anywhere memes are proliferated. But let’s flash back to a time right before the Internet became The Internet, back before instant analysis was truly instant, and everywhere. On September 30, 2004, at the first debate between President George W. Bush and John F. Kerry, tonight’s moderator, Jim Lehrer, was also on hand to ask the candidates: “Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?” Sen. John Kerry: “Secondly, when we went in, there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States. That’s not a grand coalition. We can do better.” Lehrer: Thirty seconds, Mr. President. President George W. Bush: “Well, actually, he forgot Poland. And now there’s 30 nations involved, standing side by side with our American troops.” Follow Us Boom. And the misquoted “You forgot Poland” meme was born. Only it was born to a world that didn’t exist as it does now. • SEE ALSO: Romney & Obama Escalate Passive-Aggressive Compliment Campaign Ahead of Debates The quote became a pre-viral win on the then-popular YTMND site, spawning 286 “You forgot Poland” YTMNDs through the years, the two most popular loops incorporating Office Space’s Milton (“I believe you forgot Poland”) and Eminem (“You forgot about Poland”). But these memes weren’t instant — the Eminem one took five days — and they weren’t everywhere. “You forgot Poland,” like most memes, has sadly since been relegated to the dustbin of political history. But just think about how much fun we could have had with this one. Think about how insanely huge this would have been. Think about all the tweets that would have populated the Twitter hashtag #youforgotpoland. Think about the Gregory Brothers‘ auto-tune that would have hit the web by morning. Think about the remixes and mash-ups that would have followed. Think about all the Impact text-on-pic memes that would have washed up in Reddit threads and Fark comments. Think about youforgotpoland.tumblr.com. Think about Texts From Poland. Think about all the Photoshops, the Hitler Reacts videos (especially given the Poland factor), all the Girls Showing Cleavage reaction videos on YouTube. • SEE ALSO: On Drudge-Hyped Videos and Debates Zingers Would it have changed anything? Nah, probably not. After all, voters who watched the debate by a two-to-one margin believed that Kerry actually won it. And did it change anything? Bush still came away with a 49-44 percent lead among likely voters after the debate, according to Pew. But from an Internet archeology perspective, it would have been truly amazing to see what today’s web superstars could have churned out to make the insufferable debate process more palatable for the lulz sect. SEE ALSO: • Everything You Need to Know About That 2007 Obama Video • Political Kombat ’12: Presidential Campaign Meets Mortal Kombat • This Mitt Romney Video Is More Damaging Than ‘47 Percent’ Tape Follow Us Slade Sohmer Slade Sohmer is editor-in-chef of HyperVocal and co-host of SiriusXM's daily "Politics Powered By Twitter" program. Tweet him at @SladeHV.