When leaders of the House Republican caucus stepped up to the microphone on Thursday morning to unveil a proposal to lift the debt ceiling, their hashtag preceded them: #Time4Solutions. Even before the shutdown began, Republicans were trying to win the battle on Twitter. Below, we rank their efforts.

This isn't new. Both parties have been trying to seed Twitter with friendly hashtags for some time. The image at the top of this post shows the Republicans' effort in January, during the last go-round on the budget. But over the course of the shutdown, those efforts have become unavoidable and often goofy.

We'll use Thursday's hashtag as our example for how our rankings will work (especially since it's a little early to evaluate its effectiveness). We looked at three qualities — all of which, we admit, overlap to some extent — and assigned scores on a scale of 1 to 10.

  • Savviness. How smart was the hashtag politically? Did it reinforce the right message?
  • Cleverness. How effective was the hashtag as a hashtag? Was it funny? Short?
  • Catchiness. The only objective measure. We used Topsy to track the number of times the hashtag was used over the last month.

Which gives us:

#Time4Solutions

Example:

Via Sarah Parnass.

Timeframe: October 10

Score: 5

  • Savviness: 3. Reinforcing that the Republicans want "solutions" from negotiations is fine, if vague.
  • Cleverness: 1. The use of a number in a hashtag is basically an admission of failure from the outset.
  • Catchiness: 1
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 1,442 uses


Now that you get how this works: The Republican Shutdown Hashtags, from Worst to Best.

11. #ObamaCosts

Example:

Timeframe: October 9

Score: 5

  • Savviness: 2. This makes it seem like Obama is costing, not Obamacare, which is presumably the point.
  • Cleverness: 1. It is not clever.
  • Catchiness: 2
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 4,502 uses


10. #DebtLimitDoubleTalk

Example:

Timeframe: October 10

Score: 7

  • Savviness: 4. The hashtag was meant to promote a video contrasting Obama's recent talk on the debt limit with what he said as a senator.
  • Cleverness: 3. It sort of rhymes, which is nice. But it's 21 characters! And why do you need a hashtag for a video link?
  • Catchiness: 0
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 53 uses


9. #StandWithTed

Timeframe: September 25

Score: 10

  • Savviness: 4. The first of several Ted Cruz-filibuster-related hashtags on our list, it's also the worst one. Ted who? The bear?
  • Cleverness: 3. We'll touch on this more below, but this gets lower marks because, despite the head of the Republican Party (Reince Priebus) using it (rather spastically), it steps on other hashtags.
  • Catchiness: 3. For this one, we took all of the hashtags in Priebus' tweet and charted them at once.
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 9,520 uses


8. #HarryReidsShutdown

Example:

Timeframe: October 1

Score: 11

  • Savviness: 4. If your goal is to pin a bad thing on your opponent, it's hard to beat the person's name/bad thing mash-up.
  • Cleverness: 2. Again, too long. Also the lack of an apostrophe — which is unavoidable! — makes it a little awkward.
  • Catchiness: 5
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 131,779 uses


7. #LetTheVetsIn

Example:

Timeframe: October 2

Score: 11

  • Savviness: 5. Demanding that veterans be permitted access to memorial sites is a winner, to be sure.
  • Cleverness: 5. Straightforward, short.
  • Catchiness: 1
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 2,106 uses


6. #LetsTalk

Example:

Timeframe: October 4

Score: 12

  • Savviness: 5. The first of several of the House Republican caucus' efforts. Pretty straightforward in its message: Let's talk, Mr. Obama. Come to the table. Not terribly effective, but pretty good.
  • Cleverness: 4. Short and sweet — but also likely to get confused due to its vagueness. Is this a new talk show on E? Something to do with politics?
  • Catchiness: 3
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 18,728 uses


5. #SenateMustAct

Example:

Timeframe: September 20

Score: 13

  • Savviness: 6. The hashtag that started them all. Savvy: The House passed its various (unacceptable to the Senate) funding measures, then pretended it was up to the Senate to keep the government from shutting down.
  • Cleverness: 3. Too long and inelegant. It sounds like an exhortation from a caveman.
  • Catchiness: 4
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 56,483 uses


4. #FairnessForAll

Example:

Timeframe: October 1

Score: 14

  • Savviness: 7. A nice bit of linguistic work here, arguing that the widely-derided Vitter amendment — which would cut health care subsidies for Congressional staffers — was actually about fairness.
  • Cleverness: 4. Vague and long, but decent.
  • Catchiness: 3
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 15,161 uses


3. #DefundObamacare

Timeframe: September 25

Score: 16

  • Savviness: 7. Immediate and urgent.
  • Cleverness: 1. The caveman gets out his club, starts swinging it around.
  • Catchiness: 8
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 415,515 uses


2. #StandWithCruz

Example:

Timeframe: September 25

Score: 22

  • Savviness: 9. A nice package. "Stand," to reinforce what Cruz was actually doing during his filibuster. And smart name identification reinforcement — unlike "Ted."
  • Cleverness: 7. Short, catchy. To wit:
  • Catchiness: 6
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 194,157 uses


1. #MakeDCListen

Timeframe: September 25

Score: 26

  • Savviness: 10. Again, reinforcing what was happening: Cruz was talking to Washington. He used the phrase itself repeatedly during the speech, returning to listening as a theme.
  • Cleverness: 6. A little clunky and on-the-nose.
  • Catchiness: 10
  • Prevalence on Twitter: 859,358 uses