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Seth Meyers and senator-elect Doug Jones talk Roy Moore—and not being Roy Moore

Late Night With Seth Meyers (Screenshot: NBC)
Late Night With Seth Meyers (Screenshot: NBC)

After narrowly winning the recent Alabama senatorial special election against still-ranting sore loser, overt racist, and accused child molester Roy Moore, Senator-elect Doug Jones appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Thursday, and was the very picture of “not-insane, creepy, and horrible” that the good people of Alabama voted for. Indeed, Jones seemed eager to move on from the infamously ludicrous and soul-sucking election. (You know, the one where the Republican establishment and Donald Trump refused to denounce a disgraced former judge whose contempt for the rule of law saw him twice fired, even before numerous women came forward to paint a picture of the notoriously bigoted Moore’s history of trolling the local mall for underage girls.) In response to Meyers’ delicately-phrased opener, “Your opponent seemed a little extreme at times...,” Jones laughingly agreed, saying, “It was surreal to watch some of that. Yeah. What can you say?”

Meyers, who’s had plenty to say about the Republican Party’s willingness to pin their legislative hopes on a clownishly awful jackass—who is currently demanding supporters join him in blaming illegal immigrants for his loss and mocking Jones’ gay son, just to be consistent—pressed Jones on exactly what the soon-to-be-seated Democratic senator actually stands for. (Other than not being Roy Moore, that is.) To his recent comment (which stole some of supporters’ post-election zeal) that the country should “move on” from the also-numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations against Donald Trump, Jones was politic, explaining that, while he didn’t join in with those Democrats currently calling for Trump to resign, he “wasn’t really talking about moving on from those allegations.” Explaining that the country has reached a “tipping point” with regard to sexual misconduct and that not “by any stretch” did he mean that the women accusing Trump shouldn’t be believed, Jones did his best to hew to the moderate “not Roy Moore” tone of his campaign. (He also told Meyers that he was thrilled to receive a recent impromptu concert from fellow Alabamian Jimmy Buffett, which seems about right for the blandly even-keeled Jones, frankly.)

Meyers and Jones spoke affably about Jones’ unprecedented support from Alabama’s black voters, and especially black women, for which Jones was clearly thankful. And while the senator-elect spoke more about the “jobs, education, healthcare, and bipartisanship” beats of his agenda more than anything Alabama progressives would get too fired up over, he did stress that Moore’s hateful record on race played a huge part in his success in reaching black voters, and that he plans a series of “listening tours” across the state to be responsive to supporters’ issues. (“Politicians talk enough,” said Jones.) Overall, Jones’ message seemed to be that he’s a decent guy who’ll work hard, care about all his constituents, and isn’t in any way Roy Moore. Which is, to be fair, what got him here in the first place.


Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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