At the top of last night’s first Democratic debate, just one question occupied everyone’s thoughts.
google who the hell is john delaney questionmark
— jordan (@JordanUhl) June 27, 2019
Who the fuck is John Delaney?
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) June 27, 2019
who the FUCK is john delaney
— Kevin Nguyen (@knguyen) June 27, 2019
However, quite a few people already did know about low-polling candidate John Delaney, the former U.S. rep for Maryland’s 6th district from 2013 to 2019, and were not exactly jazzed he’d made it to the debate stage.
John Delaney will never be president of the United States. Will never be vice-president. Will never get close to a presidential ticket. It's absurd he gets to eat up precious time talking pointlessly in this debate about what he would "do" as "president".
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) June 27, 2019
It is annoying to me that John Delaney thinks he even deserves to be on this stage #DemDebate
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) June 27, 2019
Don’t listen to my large nephew John Delaney at the debate tonight. He ate aquarium gravel when he was little and it made him stupid and mean.
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) June 27, 2019
Once the debate got going, however, it quickly became clear that John Delaney would play a very important role in the first debate: He would be its comic relief. At least that’s how Twitter saw it anyway.
People began to offer opinions on what Delaney brought to the table as a candidate.
john delaney is the sort of president that jack bauer would kidnap
— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) June 27, 2019
John Delaney looks like he is playing the Democratic nominee in a movie comedy about the Republican nominee.
— Peter Sagal (@petersagal) June 27, 2019
John Delaney speaks English like Beto speaks Spanish. #DemDebate
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) June 27, 2019
They especially enjoyed speculating about what sort of father he might be.
John Delaney is like a divorced dad at a busy IHOP trying to get a waitresses attention while his kids have a syrup fight #DemDebate
— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) June 27, 2019
John Delaney has the gravitas of your dad trying to make a return at Home Depot
— The Give Smart Guy (@BobbyBigWheel) June 27, 2019
John Delaney has the energy of a Hallmark movie stepdad who lectures his wife’s kids about how they can’t afford nice things while polishing his new sports car. #DemDebate
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 27, 2019
People delighted in witnessing Delaney’s sad quest for more airtime.
— proletaricat ☭ (@_proletaricat) June 27, 2019
— shauna (@goldengateblond) June 27, 2019
John Delaney: pic.twitter.com/DkeR2w3v4W
— Ed Zitron (@edzitron) June 27, 2019
— marsala chicken (@1r2sses) June 27, 2019
They mocked the way that moderators such as Rachel Maddow, Chuck Todd, and Lester Holt would shut him down when he tried to interject during other people’s turns–and sometimes seemingly just for kicks.
biggest lie of the night: "congressman delaney, you'll get some time in a moment"
— Jared Rizzi (@JaredRizzi) June 27, 2019
John Delaney: “My grandfather was separated from his family!”
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) June 27, 2019
Rachel Maddow: congressman, please sit pic.twitter.com/MRKlLIMQqX
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) June 27, 2019
NBC News when John Delaney starts to talk pic.twitter.com/xyOi3rB7FZ
— Rob HΔZ€ (@robertistheMan) June 27, 2019
Handle men who talk over you in meetings like Rachel Maddow handles John Delaney.
— Alex Berg (@itsalexberg) June 27, 2019
Mainly, though, the Delaney-obsessed Twitter contingent spent a large portion of the debate trying to specify who exactly the candidate most resembles.
Where's the lie? pic.twitter.com/fYXebkc4vO
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) June 27, 2019
Which one is presidential candidate John Delaney and which one is "Best in Show" character actor Don Lake? pic.twitter.com/UeuLsuntjs
— Peter Gwinn (@gwinns) June 27, 2019
— Big VERN (@VernorsOfficial) June 27, 2019
— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) June 27, 2019
John Delaney is George Costanza's airbrushed Kruger photo
Change my mind. pic.twitter.com/0c9iXKGBNt
— Slade (@Slade) June 27, 2019
John Delaney looks like a younger Joe Biden that decided to do nothing about his male pattern baldness. pic.twitter.com/qoG9nqrQTo
— Trillbilly Workers Party (@thetrillbillies) June 27, 2019
Here is my only debate analysis: John Delaney perpetually looks like he just shaved off his mustache. pic.twitter.com/8sZCb9sA8w
— Adam Conover (@adamconover) June 27, 2019
Delaney looks like the guy from Tenacious D. Not Jack Black.
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) June 27, 2019
Chuck Todd: John Delaney, show me scared Muppet.
— (((Jay Shifman))) (@JBShifman) June 27, 2019
In the end, CNN asked the burning question that had replace everyone’s previous mystery, “Who is John Delaney?”
What's causing John Delaney’s spark tonight?
He watched old presidential debates, Republican and Democratic, dating back to 2004, and practiced various scenarios – against his rivals – as soon as the lineups were announced https://t.co/VJxq3tdhem #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/QAe7CiNahi
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 27, 2019
What caused John Delaney’s spark last night? I like to think it was knowing how much joy he was providing the folks watching at home. Thank you, John Delaney. You will never even come close to the presidency, but you brought us all closer together in laughter. Keep shooting for the stars!