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A Question, A Sweater, An Internet Sensation

  • VOA News

Kenneth Bone listens as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during the second presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Washington University in St. Louis, Oct. 9, 2016.

Kenneth Bone listens as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during the second presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Washington University in St. Louis, Oct. 9, 2016.

Forget the man with his name in gold on a tower in New York City. Forget the woman who circled the globe as the country's top diplomat.

What Americans needed in this contentious election season was a regular guy in a red sweater who had a question.

"What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?"

Ken Bone was one of the undecided voters given the opportunity to ask a question during Sunday night's debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Twitter immediately lit up with with images of Bone dressed in a sweater with a white shirt underneath, khaki pants and face adorned with a mustache and glasses. In what Twitter said was the most tweeted debate of all time, talk of Bone spread quickly.

After the debate, television cameras showed him shaking hands with former President Bill Clinton and taking a picture of the debate hall with a disposable camera. On Monday, Google offered to send him one of their newest phones, saying he "deserves a best-in-class camera."

Bone first got a Twitter account in 2013, but before the debate did not have a big presence. He said he had just seven followers, a number that in 24 hours grew to 60,000.

He had not posted anything in three years.

But he seemed to quickly take to his moment in the spotlight, engaging people with answers to their questions that revealed things like he is married to his high school sweetheart and once played in a band. He also does not understand the attention.

As for the newly iconic sweater, Bone fans shopping on Amazon could only settle for one of 10 alternative color choices after the red one sold out. Izod, the company that makes the sweater, spent Monday directing people to other places where they could find one and had a message about its place in this polarized political environment.

"Great style is something we can all agree on!"

Unfortunately for those voters who want to write in Bone as their pick in the November 8 election, he is one year too young to be eligible to serve as president. But there is always the 2020 race.

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