The substance of a presidential address always matters more than the theatrics. That said, I imagine most observers would agree one specific moment from President Obama’s speech last night was one of the more memorable of any recent State of the Union address.
Towards the end of his remarks, Obama took an almost contemplative turn, telling the audience, “I have no more campaigns to run.” Some Republicans responded with derisive applause, prompting the president to depart from his prepared remarks.
“I know, because I won both of them,” Obama said with a sly smile.
For a few moments, I felt like I was watching a “Key & Peele” sketch and the president briefly became Luther, his “anger translator.”
Not surprisingly, the moment garnered quite a bit of attention.
Facebook’s policy team provided msnbc with data on the most talked-about topics and moments during the Obama’s oratory. The most viral moment of the State of the Union address, according to Facebook? That moment when President Obama said “I have no more campaigns to run,” was interrupted by partisan cheers, and shot back: “I know, because I won both of them.”
TPM’s Sahil Kapur was on Capitol Hill last night, and apparently, congressional Republicans didn’t appreciate the president’s not-so-subtle jab.
“Probably not helpful when you rub the other guy’s nose in the dirt a little bit,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a close ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), told reporters. […]Senate Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said Obama’s remarks did not make her feel “warm and fuzzy” about having to work with him for the next two years. […]Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), No. 4 in House GOP leadership, told TPM she was “disappointed” in the president when asked about the swipe.
Their “disappointment” strikes me as wildly misplaced – if Republicans can dish it out, they have to be prepared for the president to give it back. It was GOP lawmakers who decided to interrupt the speech with applause when Obama said he has no more campaigns to run. Can they really blame him for throwing a fastball of his own in their direction?