Buzz off! Errant housefly on Pence’s head photobombs VP debate

A fly rests on the head of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as he takes notes during the vice presidential debate against U.S. Democratic vice presidential nominee and Senator from California Kamala Harris in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A fly rests on the head of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as he takes notes during the vice presidential debate against U.S. Democratic vice presidential nominee and Senator from California Kamala Harris in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Image: GETTY IMAGES

A stray housefly briefly commanded the US national stage on Wednesday, generating buzz when it perched on vice-president Mike Pence's cropped white hair as he debated his Democratic rival, US Senator Kamala Harris.

The insect sat there for several minutes during the matchup, distracting viewers who perhaps may have been looking for a break from all the talk of taxes and trade.

“The fly won the debate,” Jeanne Duncan, an Oregon writer, posted on Twitter.

The fly hung on as the Republican former congressman and former Indiana governor shook his head and parried with Harris, appearing secure in the knowledge that the candidate was not in a position to shoo it away. Pence's left eye was noticeably bloodshot.

A short time later, it was gone, but its legend was only growing.

On Twitter, an account named @MikePenceFly swiftly gained thousands of followers.

Harris's running mate, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, posted a picture of himself with a fly swatter on Twitter, asking supporters to “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly.”

During the first and only VP debate a fly took center stage and landed on Mike Pence's head during a question about race in America.

His campaign set up a website, flywillvote.com, to register voters. Within the hour, it was selling a “Truth over Flies” fly swatter for $10.

Pence's staff chose not to capitalise on the uninvited guest. In a post-debate call, senior adviser Jason Miller had a different animal in mind. “We had a deer in the headlights look from Senator Harris tonight,” he said.

Some Democrats took the opportunity to bring up President Donald Trump's COVID-19 infection. “The fly needs to be quarantined,” Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar wrote.

Republican Senator Rand Paul had a different spin: “The deep state planted a bug on @VP. This illegal spying is really out of control.”

Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show” on CBS, suggested that by remaining perched in Pence's hair for two minutes or so, the fly had a greater attention span than Trump himself. — Reuters



Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X