Nancy Pelosi's clap wins the State of the Union address

Nancy Pelosi's clap wins the State of the Union address

Nancy Pelosi's clap wins the State of the Union address

President Donald Trump pushed hard for the moment when he could deliver this State of the Union address with all the pomp the Capitol venue can offer - robed Supreme Court justices, solons of the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing suffragette white, and prime time on America's TV sets.

Meanwhile, many Republicans were excited about Trump's speech to Congress and the nation.

"Look at what I was applauding", Pelosi told the press.

"So even as I am very disappointed by the President's approach to our problems, I still don't want him to fail".

She too was standing and clapping, but in a manner unlike most others.

"That's great", Trump said.

But not necessarily the man who occupies that office, a distinction Pelosi has suggested throughout Trump's presidency.

As House Democrats sat stoically, with many members dressed in white, Trump seemed to be enjoying himself.

Pelosi stood, extended her arms and clapped in what certainly appeared to be a sarcastic manner - a moment that was captured perfectly by photographer Doug Mills.

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Pelosi and Trump have had a tense relationship since the government shutdown that kicked off her speakership. It was Susan B. Anthony, in her famous speech "Social Purity", who expressly denounced abortion and infanticide, for example. What we do know is that her white Roland Mouret ensemble fully stood out from the darker hues on her side of the room. "The last cycle we did a lot of work on sexual harassment", she said.

After presidents suffer setbacks in midterm elections, they often reach out to the victorious opposition with words of conciliation, however artificial or short-lived they may be.

When he declared that the "state of our union is strong", she shook her head with a tight smile and stayed seated.

Eighty-seven percent of women in the House are Democrats, with a GOP decline from 25 women in the last Congress to just 13 now.

The president also defended his decisions to withdraw USA troops from Syria and Afghanistan over the opposition from national security officials and many Republican lawmakers.

He said, "The only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations" an apparent swipe at the special counsel investigation into ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign, as well as the upcoming congressional investigations.

"If there is going to be peace and legislation there can not be war and war and investigation", Trump said.

All of which means that to the extent Trump and other Republicans highlight reproductive rights in 2020, that could end up energizing Democratic-leaning demographic groups.

Pelosi held up a hand below shoulder level and threw a glance in their direction to quiet down.

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