Our seemingly endless election campaigns have a way of finding everyday Americans and turning them into unlikely celebrities.
In 2008, it was Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, who confronted then-Sen. Barack Obama about his tax plan in Ohio and became a representation for all middle-class voters.
Sunday night, it was Kenneth Bone and his red sweater. Late in the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Bone — one of the undecided voters in the audience for the town hall in St. Louis — asked a question about energy policy.
“What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?” Bone asked.
Few will remember the answers given by Clinton and Trump. Many, though, will remember the portly questioner. Bone is 34-year-old operator at a coal plant in Illinois, according to the New York Times.
Bone immediately became Internet famous: for his red sweater, for his mustache, for his dark-rimmed glasses.
Given the choice between two of the most disliked politicians ever to run for president, people are choosing Bone with many declaring him the winner of the second debate.
A perfect Halloween costume, screamed the internet.
He wore the red sweater for an interview with CNN on Monday morning.
“I don’t see how I could not have worn the red sweater this morning. It’s more famous than me,” Bone told CNN.
The story behind it is even better. He split the seat of the pants of his “really nice” olive suit on Sunday morning, forcing him to plan B — the red sweater.
“I’m glad it worked out,” he said.
Bone entered the debate with seven followers, including his grandma twice, he told CNN. Now he has more than 14,500 followers.
Bone entered the debate leaning toward Trump, but told the Times that he was impressed with Clinton.
Joe the Plumber tried to parlay his newfound fame into becoming an actual politician. He ran in Ohio’s 9th congressional district in 2012 as a Republican, but lost.