By late afternoon Wednesday, the second day of balloting for House speaker, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy had failed six times to scrounge enough votes from members of his own party to land the job.
While the House speakership remained in limbo, Twitter was far from idle. An onslaught of tweets took aim at McCarthy, some mocking him for moving into the speaker’s office prematurely, others using the clown emoji and the hashtag #KevinMcCarthyIsAClown.
The drama continued to unfold — and trend on social media — as soon as Day 2 began.
Twitter wasn’t shy to acknowledge that McCarthy not only failed to win the initial vote on Tuesday — marking the first time in 100 years the speakership has required multiple ballots — but that the House had, by Wednesday evening, voted six times and counting. Memes circulated of endless tally marks, and of individuals, as well as classic cartoon characters, facing repeated defeats, likening McCarthy’s persistence to “the definition of insanity.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy has said he would continue to pursue the position until he’s successful. Social media had fun with that as well.
An “Ode to McCarthy” video also circulated, complete with a sappy slideshow and remix of “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen. The lyrics included the words: “All by myself, can’t get the votes. All by myself, I can’t find the votes.”
Mostly, social media stayed focused on McCarthy’s repeated defeats.
And even if McCarthy perseveres, settling into the speaker’s chair may be just as difficult as getting it.