We’ve all changed a lot during the last four years, but nobody’s image has changed quite as much as Tim Kaine, Virginia senator, and now, socially-distanced wild west bandit. 

An image of Kaine glaring down the Senate floor while wearing a bandana as a face mask is going viral, drawing comparisons to Old West movie tropes. It’s a sharp change in public image for the senator, who was largely panned as “America’s step-dad” during his 2016 run for vice president with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. While he was previously known for his goofy demeanor and delighted reaction to the concept of balloons, Kaine put on a more stern mask — literally. 

Kaine has been making public appearances wearing a variety of bandanas covering his mouth and nose, which fall within the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While not every lawmaker showed up to Tuesday’s Senate hearing on reopening the country in the midst of the pandemic with a face mask, Kaine showed up with a bandana firmly tied around his head. 

Paired with his stern expression, Kaine appeared ready to duel — backed up with statistics, of course. 

Tim Kaine shot the sheriff and the mother fuckin’ deputy https://t.co/GhyQyHmF92

— Meredith (@meralee727) May 12, 2020

Twitter users commented on the senator’s new look. 

Tim Kaine is ready to rob a train https://t.co/GfRnSr76ZR

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 12, 2020

Tim Kaine once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die pic.twitter.com/ji9czgv6c4

— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) May 12, 2020

Tim Kaine is not taking shit from anyone today. pic.twitter.com/paQRwByxqY

— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) May 12, 2020

Tim Kaine knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men pic.twitter.com/p6OMcrgEwB

“You’ve yeed your last haw, partner.”—Tim Kaine, probably https://t.co/unSlpPvi5U

— Ofirah Yheskel (@ofirahy) May 12, 2020

Everyone knows that Tim Kaine is the fastest draw in the east… pic.twitter.com/NLKKqF9N5d

— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) May 12, 2020

Tim Kaine looks like he just learned the cowboy he left for dead is alive and out for vengeance pic.twitter.com/zT8tFjTsge

Tim Kaine, Senator from Virginia <<< Timothy Cain, anti-hero from a Cormac McCarthy novel pic.twitter.com/NZ9C0lOBXT

— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) May 12, 2020

Don’t sleep on Tim Kaine’s cameo in Westworld. pic.twitter.com/zA6QkdpuM9

— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) May 12, 2020

Kaine, at least, is taking his newfound infamy in stride. 

“Not a tuna melt, but it will have to do,” he tweeted, referring to fellow Virginia senator Mark Warner’s truly horrifying viral microwaved tuna melt recipe. 

The pandemic’s really changed us all. 

This content was originally published here.

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