Nancy Pelosi sparks new SOTU meme during Biden ‘burn pits’ moment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew massive attention on social media during President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening for her oddly giddy reaction to Biden’s remarks about “burn pits” in the Middle East.

During his address, the president outlined four items in a “Unity Agenda for the Nation” that included support for US veterans.

“My administration is providing assistance with job training and housing, and now helping lower-income veterans get VA care debt-free,” Biden said.

“Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan faced many dangers. One was stationed at bases and breathing in toxic smoke from ‘burn pits,’” the president continued, to applause. “Many of you have been there.”

Nancy Pelosi's hand gestures at the State of the Union Address once again have become the talk of the internet.
Nancy Pelosi’s hand gestures at the State of the Union Address once again have become the talk of the internet.

As the president delivered his remark, Pelosi was seen standing up behind him, grinning and rubbing her knuckles together as if pulling back an ill-timed clap.

Many social media users spotted the odd response to the serious remarks, with some even questioning if the speaker was intoxicated. Others simply labeled it “weird.”

“So weird…” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) simply tweeted.

“what the…” Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) posted.

“Is Pelosi good?” Rep. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) press secretary Abigail Marone wrote.

Reason’s editor at large Nick Gillespie jokingly recommended her gesture was a signal.

“What secret taskmaster was Nancy Pelosi signaling with this hippy hippy shake?”

“Seriously, though, why was she so weird tonight?” Mollie Hemingway, editor-in-chief of The Federalist, tweeted.

The Independent Journal Review’s Caleb Hull called Pelosi’s reaction “the weirdest/creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“Didn’t think #SOTU could get any worse… then this happens. Why is Pelosi so giddy about burn pits?” podcaster Steven Crowder asked.

The Twitter account for conservative radio show “Bongino Show” called the video “bizarre.”

“Here’s proof that Democrats were only half-listening to Biden’s speech and were told to clap like seals at everything he says. Watch Nancy Pelosi’s reaction when Biden mentions our troops in Iraq breathing in ‘toxic smoke.’ Just bizarre.”

Others took the opportunity to make a meme, much as social media users did when Pelosi similarly sparked a frenzy during the last State of the Union, in 2020 — when she tore up President Donald Trump’s speech.

US Vice President Mike Pence claps as Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi appears to rip a copy of US President Donald Trumps speech after he delivers the State of the Union address.
Vice President Mike Pence claps as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears to rip up a copy of President Donald Trump’s speech after he delivers the State of the Union address.
AFP via Getty Images
Nancy Pelosi gestures at President Donald Trump at the 2019 State of the Union Address.
Nancy Pelosi gestures at President Donald Trump at the 2019 State of the Union address.
Doug Mills

“When I see the brownies about to come out of the oven,” wrote the Washington Examiner magazine’s deputy editor Grant Addison.

“Speaker Pelosi’s reaction every time President Biden spending another trillion of your hard-earned dollars. #StopTheSpending #SOTUinCrisis #SOTU,” Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) tweeted.

Journalist Siraj Hashmi compared the reaction to an excited dog when he hears plastic-wrapped food.

“*plastic wrapper crumples* my dog:” Hashmi tweeted along with a video of Pelosi’s reaction.

Pelosi’s actions reminded some of her reaction to former President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in 2019, when she ripped up her copy of his speech on camera.

The photo quickly circulated on social media, sparking debates and becoming a meme.

That same year, Pelosi sparked another meme, for clapping and pointing at Trump, as he looked behind him to where she sat.

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