During Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, a fly landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head and sat there for a full two minutes while Pence side-stepped answering a question.
The moment instantaneously became an internet-dominating meme. For example, a @MikePenceFly__ account appeared on Twitter and has gained more than 116,000 followers in under 24 hours. Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, introduced limited edition flyswatters on his campaign’s website. By Thursday afternoon, they had sold out.
This is 2020 though, and the humor is not shared by everyone.
Steve Schmidt, a Republican commentator, former adviser to President George W. Bush, John McCain’s 2008 campaign manager, and founding member of the never-Trump Lincoln Project expressed apprehension about making light of what would normally be silly television bloopers, because of the dark undertones that define the 2020 election cycle.
“I don’t think it’s ever a good sign when a fly lands on your head for two minutes,” Schmidt quipped during a post-debate discussion on MSNBC.
“You know that’s a sign all through the history of sin, and historically, biblically,” Schmidt continued. “You know a fly, he who commands the fly, has always been seen historically as the mark of the devil.”
Watch below, courtesy of The Daily Caller:
The Lincoln Project’s Steve Schmidt says the fly that landed on Mike Pence during the debate last night is a "sign historically of sin" and the "mark of the devil.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 8, 2020
Ari Melber, host of MSNBC’s The Beat, had to ask Schmidt if he was serious.
“Well Steve, now as a journalist, now I have to ask for the record, are you joking? Because the fly could have landed on anyone,” Melber remarked.
“Yes, but it didn’t. It landed on Mike Pence, and it says something,” Schmidt replied, adding that the incident reflected “something karmic about the status of the campaign.”
Melber chose to not comment further, saying that he lacks the qualifications to insert religious interpretations into the news.
“I’ll just say in my role on the fact check what Steve Schmidt has said about the numbers is true. What he said about the ultimate moral reckoning of whether the fly connotes evil or devil or Nosferatu is above my pay grade.”
Twenty-six days until the election.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.