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.
Kevin McCarthy entering the Capitol for day 2 of voting pic.twitter.com/OpIBD856dC— Keith-ish Edwards (@keithedwards) January 4, 2023
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.”
This is getting ridiculous. The definition of insanity is…#KevinMcCarthy #Speakerofthehouse #gop #Democrats #comedy pic.twitter.com/39JX3iYQaK— Tarik Rashaan Davis (@tarikrdavis) January 4, 2023
Live look at Kevin McCarthy pic.twitter.com/CS0DLYqYTm— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 4, 2023
Meanwhile, McCarthy has said he would continue to pursue the position until he’s successful. Social media had fun with that as well.
Kevin McCarthy heading into a sixth ballot pic.twitter.com/MZtP0uKvjx— Slade (@Slade) January 4, 2023
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.”
Whatever the outcome w/ #KevinMcCarthy— miguelifornia (@miguelifornia) January 4, 2023
It's really really funny🤣
a meme by @MagaMemeWizard & mepic.twitter.com/97mexGPViU
Mostly, social media stayed focused on McCarthy’s repeated defeats.
Kevin McCarthy, NO House Speaker for YOU!!!!!👑 pic.twitter.com/NsXET3ZOY4— Lord Aughenbaugh 👸 (@HRH_Aughenbaugh) January 4, 2023
And even if McCarthy perseveres, settling into the speaker’s chair may be just as difficult as getting it.
Live shot of Kevin McCarthy settling into his Speaker's chair. https://t.co/e6BNlwv4hX— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 4, 2023
Shanna Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow her on Twitter @shannakelly_19.