Many, many people were puzzled by the mental image brought to mind by Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" phrasing at th Tuesday's debate. An entire Tumblr has been trying to fill in the details, but now we have the real deal, guys, a photo from the Associated Press taken in 2002 of the original binder. And as we pointed out earlier, this binder was given to Romney before he had a chance to ask for it, as he told the story at the debate. 

The many recreations of the binder have failed to capture the cold bureaucratic spirit of the original, prepared by the bipartisan group of women called the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project, or MassGAP, and given to Romney after he was elected in 2002. Take these women's imagining of the binders, in this photo outside the Ohio Republican headquarters, tweeted by Talking Points Memo's Evan McMorris-Santoro:

The fantasy is always more exciting than the reality.

Update: Romney's binders full of women were really binders full of campaign donors, BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski reports. Several women nominated to senior positions had given money to his campaign. Which is progress, isn't it ladies? To be recognized for something other than anatomy, even if it's campaign donation loyalty.