ST. LOUIS – In a presidential debate filled with nasty remarks and insults, audience member and uncommitted voter Ken Bone became an internet sensation after posing a question to the candidates.
"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?" he asked Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
While Bone's question was well-intentioned, his overnight fame was fueled by his snazzy red sweater, white shirt-tie combination, his thick mustache, his disposable camera and of course, his catchy name, according to social media.
Ken Bone Halloween costume kit pic.twitter.com/Ew1KffDgcl
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) October 10, 2016
#KenBone became a top trending topic on Twitter with more than 94, 000 tweets mentioning him as of early Monday. On Facebook, his name was also among the most talked about topics.
"Yesterday, I had seven Twitter followers and two of them were my grandma. That is because she forgot her password and had to do it over. Now I have a couple hundred. It seems bizarre to me that people care what I have to say. I was just glad, through this red sweater ridiculousness, that people are becoming more engaged in the political process. My big message is that: Your voice is being heard.
I always assumed that these town hall participants were given a question to ask and it was a dog and pony show. That is absolutely not the case. I came up with that question myself. I talked to the producers about it. The campaigns never got to hear it.
I would have liked to hear more from Mr. Trump about environmental protection. I would have like to hear more from Secretary Clinton about protecting the jobs of our fossil plant workers. Overall, I think they both did pretty well," said Ken Bone.
Bone said that he didn't initially plan on wearing the red sweater.
"It was a long day yesterday. We were here for about 14 hours, sequestered. I had this really nice olive suit that my parents love to see me in. I gained about 30 lbs over the last year. When I got into my car to come here I tore the seat out of my pants. I had t move to plan B.
It isn't the most trendy thing I've ever worn. But, I'm not the most trendy guy either," said Ken Bone.
Bone told KTVI that he believes the internet loves him because he appears to be someone people can relate to.
"Realistically, I'm huggable and people were drawn to that. But, I like to think that people recognize that I'm just a regular guy. If my voice can be heard then their voice can be heard," said Ken Bone.
When it comes to who he plans to vote for in November, Bone said he still hasn't made any final decisions.
"I was leaning to Trump but Secretary Clinton gave some good answers. I liked the way she kept her composure despite the personal attacks. I'm going to wait for the last debate to make my final decision. You never know what can happen," said Ken Bone.