President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, and while there were several moments from that event that went viral on social media, very few of those could be construed as being particularly good for the president.
One of the viral moments actually had less to do with what Biden said and was instead in regard to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) reaction to what was said, the Daily Wire reported.
In fact, it would be more accurate to say it was McCarthy’s lack of a reaction that went viral and was heralded by some commentators as “gold” and “priceless” and reflective of a broad swathe of the American people.
A forced, slow, polite clap
At one point in his remarks, President Biden drew applause from Democrats as he mentioned the need to improve America’s infrastructure in order to maintain a strong economy.
“And, folks, as you all know, we used to be number one in the world in infrastructure. We’ve sunk to 13th in the world. The United States of America — 13th in the world in infrastructure, modern infrastructure,” Biden yelled as he angrily pointed his finger.
“But now we’re coming back because we came together and passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System,” he added to yet another standing ovation from his fellow Democrats.
Yet, while Vice President Kamala Harris rose to join in the boisterous applause from others, McCarthy sat expressionless in his seat atop the dais and gave the president a rather slow and seemingly forced polite clap.
McCarthy’s viral expressionlessness
Benny Johnson of Turning Point USA shared the clip to highlight how “Joe has started yelling” during his speech, but it was RedState’s Bonchie who quote-tweeted Johnson’s clip and added, “Kevin McCarthy’s face at the end of this clip … lol.”
Kevin McCarthy’s face at the end of this clip…lol https://t.co/KOS1kFtndg
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) February 8, 2023
In reaction to that moment, as well as others throughout the address, New York Post reporter Miranda Devine tweeted that “McCarthy’s face is priceless,” while former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis posted that “McCarthy’s facial expressions are gold.”
Conservative podcaster Brenden Dilley summed it up best, though, when he shared a screenshot of a rather bored-looking McCarthy staring at the back of the confused-looking Biden while VP Harris stood and looked on as she applauded whatever the president had just said, and wrote, “McCarthy is all of us right now.”
McCarthy is all of us right now 🤣😂🤣😂🤣#SOTU pic.twitter.com/D21DH9OWiI
— Brenden Dilley (@WarlordDilley) February 8, 2023
No “theatrics” from this House Speaker
The expressionless demeanor of Speaker McCarthy throughout President Biden’s speech was likely purposeful, as he had announced earlier that day that he would not be engaging in any of the same “theatrics” during the address as his predecessor, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who infamously ripped to shreds former President Donald Trump’s final State of the Union address and, in that speech and others, had routinely made various facial expressions in response to different things said by Trump.
“You know, I don’t believe in the theatrics of tearing up speeches,” McCarthy said with a smile. “I respect the other side. I can disagree on policy, but I want to make sure this country is stronger, economically sound, energy independent, secure, and accountable.”