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. 

Twitter users commented on the senator’s new look. 

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. 

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