She then lined up another small stack and ripped yet again. Since Pelosi was sitting behind Trump for the whole speech, her move was seen on national TV before cameras cut away. Earlier in the evening, Pelosi and Trump had an awkward moment.
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O ver the course of the first Trump administration, there have been attempts, mostly unsuccessful, to convert Nancy Pelosi into something of a meme, a symbol of liberal anger and feminist defiance. At times, Pelosi herself has seemed oblivious or unaware of these efforts, as when she was photographed wearing sunglasses and a rust-colored coat on her way out of a contentious meeting with the president at the White House, an outfit which some interpreted, to my mind inexplicably, as a symbol of her power. When the speech concluded, Pelosi angled her hands toward Trump to clap softly and with a patronizing expression, a gesture that seemed deliberately designed to be turned into a gif and shared online, which it was. The gesture, again, appeared calculated and deliberate: an expression of anger and contempt at the president, and exasperation at the failure of Congress, and the Senate in particular, to check his abuses. The clip was shared widely, and within minutes it had been integrated seamlessly into the vernacular of social media.
NowThis had video within minutes. The visual is great. Who can argue that she is not a queen, a girl-boss, who came to slay and throw shade? But that was it.
Trump gave Rush Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom during the speech. He set up grieving parents, siblings, and spouses to weep before the cameras. He staged a surprise reunion of a military family. All while making a jaw-dropping play for black voters and a dark, extended, hatred-stoking riff on undocumented immigrants. Strategy B: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who delivered a standard-issue Democratic response from a high school gym in Michigan that might as well have been an alternate universe. Whitmer was typical American politics, warm smiles and earnest words and bids for unity, reason, and facts.