Ken Bone, breakout debate star, decides to endorse . . . the Cubs

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Kenneth Bone, in the red sweater, in the audience before the start of the second presidential debate Oct. 9 in St. Louis. | AP

Kenneth Bone, the breakout star of Sunday’s second presidential debate, has finally made an endorsement. No, not in the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — in the Major League Baseball playoffs: He’s supporting the Cubs.

It wasn’t an easy call for Bone, 34, who lives just this side of St. Louis in downstate Illinois and became an instant celebrity after he stood up at Sunday’s presidential debate in St. Louis and asked Clinton and Trump about energy policy.

But his beloved St. Louis Cardinals didn’t make the postseason. So he’s rooting for the Cards’ longtime rivals.

“I’m not going to bear any animosity at the Cubbies,” Bone, who’s a supervisor at a downstate coal plant, said Thursday. “They’ve had a tough run of it.”

Bone’s nod to the Cubs might seem like the immaterial salute of a man momentarily sitting atop a media geyser. But thanks to the response to his televised appearance questioning the presidential candidates, as well as the eye-catching red sweater he wore, he has more than 220,000 Twitter followers — a number that’s growing by the hour. 

How popular is he? “Ken Bone in a red sweater” is now predicted to be one of this Halloween’s most popular costumes. On Thursday, Uber began using him to tout its service in St. Louis. He’s even pitching T-shirts bearing his now-familiar likeness, writing Thursday on Twitter: “America, prepare to enter the #bonezone.”

And he’s been swamped trying to squeeze in time for all of the interview requests he’s gotten.

Bone began a phone interview Thursday by saying he had just a few minutes and apologizing ahead of time if a swear word slipped out.

“This isn’t a live radio interview, is it?” he asked. “I’m trying to be the real me.”

Before being asked whether he might turn up at Wrigley Field to support his adopted playoff team, or maybe hawk his T-shirts, a timer alarm chimed.

“Sorry,” he said. “Got to go.”

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