The State of the Union speech is sometimes more memorable for the reactions of those in attendance than it is for what the president says. If that ends up being the case for the 2022 edition of the address, the reaction in question will probably belong to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi, seated in her usual perch behind the president, went viral after she stood up and smiled while rubbing her fists together during an entirely inappropriate part of the speech — one that dealt with veterans who inhaled toxic fumes.
This wouldn’t be the only time that Pelosi went viral for a gesture during the State of the Union.
This is the woman, remember, who infamously ripped up a copy of then-President Donald Trump’s speech right after he delivered the 2020 edition. The mainstream media loved that; of course, they didn’t bother covering when a camera caught her pre-ripping the speech, revealing the gesture as decidedly non-spontaneous.
(While the rest of the establishment press didn’t bother reporting it, The Western Journal was one of the outlets that exposed the scripted moment for what it was. We’ll continue to bring you news and analysis that the liberal media won’t. You can help us by subscribing.)
Tuesday night’s was the first proper State of the Union speech since that 2020 affair. (The speech last year was just a joint address to Congress, with Joe Biden having just taken Oval Office two months and change prior.)
In 2020, Pelosi was theatrical. In 2022, she was weird and inappropriate, with one Twitter user writing that she “almost shape shifted.”
Here’s the strange moment caught on camera:
Nancy Pelosi's reaction to troops "breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits" is the weirdest/creepiest thing I've ever seen. pic.twitter.com/SJ1P7fnN3e
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 2, 2022
And it went on for a bit longer than that, too:
Longer version… pic.twitter.com/qr4kHql9lq
— Eric Wilbrandt 🦃 (@Edubb530) March 2, 2022
That’s almost 10 seconds worth of fist-rubbing — which was uncomfortable, to say the least.
Perhaps this was some kind of signal for Democrats to clap, since applause seemed to break out. The problem was, it came during a completely unwelcome part of the speech.
According to a transcript from The New York Times, this came as Biden talked about “a sacred obligation to equip those we send to war and care for those and their family when they come home” and noted that “our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have faced many dangers.”
“One being stationed at bases, breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits. Many of you have been there. I’ve been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 40 times. These burn pits that incinerate waste, the waste of war — medical and hazardous material, jet fuel and so much more,” he said.
“And they came home, many of the world’s fittest and best-trained warriors in the world, never the same. Headaches. Numbness. Dizziness. A cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin.”
Biden then went on to speculate that his son, Beau Biden, died of a cancer perhaps caused because he was near burn pits when he was deployed to Kosovo and Iraq.
Smile! Clap! Rub those fists together in a strange way!
What the actual hell is Pelosi doing pic.twitter.com/H1ch9UmzNj
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) March 2, 2022
What the hell is this reaction from Nancy Pelosi to Biden talking about soldiers breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits. pic.twitter.com/MKdgMCPnVf
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 2, 2022
And then some speculated about what she was trying to do. “Nancy Pelosi almost shape shifted on national television,” conservative independent journalist Luke Rudkowski tweeted.
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) March 2, 2022
If she was trying to turn into someone we all want to keep in power come November, sorry: It didn’t work, at least from this end.
There were plenty of strange moments to catch the eye this year, not the least of which were the pro forma Biden gaffes and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer awkwardly standing up to applaud when he shouldn’t have. Pelosi’s moment was the most memorable by far, however, if just because of the weirdness of it all.
And to think, she was able to do it all without any pre-ripping.