By Saeed Ahmed
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — Today, the pundits will argue over who won the presidential debate. But we think we can safely deliver the verdict: Ken Bone.
The debate, in case you missed it, was a town hall-style affair where audience members (screened by Gallup and selected by the moderators) asked questions of the candidates. And in that group of well-behaved, articulate, truth seekers was one Mr. Bone.
His question to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was a doozy: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?”
But that wasn’t why Bone became the Internet’s insta-darling.
It’s that name. Ken Bone. Very Luke Cage-y.
It’s that power outfit: The red cardigan, the white tie, the black-rimmed glasses. People were in love.
The man behind (…in?) the red sweater
Bone spoke to CNN’s Carol Costello Monday morning about his debate fame. “I went from, last night, having seven Twitter followers, two of which were my grandmother…to now, I have several hundred,” he said. “And I don’t know why they care what I have to say, but I’m glad they’re engaged in the political process.”
Maybe it has to do with the fact that, at the end of proceedings, he captured the moment by whipping out… a disposable camera.
Ken Bone — he’s no conformist. He’s the person a divided America needs right now. The man who brought some levity to the ludicrous, some vim to counter the vitriol. The only thing that was making America great again.
As Ramzy Nasrallah put it, “Was so sad and ashamed throughout the entire spectacle but then KEN BONE rose like a Phoenix from America’s ashes and there’s laughter again.”
Bone was one of the undecided voters who attended the debate to get a better feel for their options come November. And Bones told CNN he actually walked away without a final verdict.
“I know people hate to hear this, but I think I might be more undecided than ever,” he said. Bone said he was leaning toward Trump, but he was impressed with Clinton’s composure and looks forward to the third and final debate.
Either way, true to the internet hero he has become, he plans to use his power for good.
“I’m really glad that so much attention has come my way, if for no other reason than I can get the message out that your voice can be heard, and please get out and vote in November. If you feel like your vote doesn’t matter, it does. Make your voice heard”
The internet bursts with love
During an otherwise contentious event, Bone’s comforting demeanor was just the balm weary debate watchers needed.
“I bet Ken Bone brings roses to his wife randomly. Just because,” one mused.
Within minutes, someone had created a Facebook page.
And, of course, a parody Twitter account.
And yes, an ode to his greatness.
We also all now know what we’ll be dressing as for Halloween.
So, thank you, debate organizers, for giving us someone we could all rally behind.
“Tonight I lost hope in America’s future… then I met Ken Bone,” tweeted Jeff Guenther.
We could not agree more.
We would be remiss if we also didn’t give a shout out to Mr. Staring Man. Our apologies for not catching his name. But we certainly caught his “Do NOT B.S. me, mister” look.
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