Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) had her own embarrassing “please clap” moment while trying to get an audience to praise the president’s leadership on Tuesday.
Pelosi was speaking at an event on the White House lawn to celebrate the passage of President Joe Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Bill,” when she scolded the audience for not applauding at the appropriate moment. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stood by Pelosi as she spoke.
“Mr. President, thank you for unifying and inspiring a vision of a stronger, fairer, safer future for all our children. Your extraordinary leadership has made this glorious day possible,” Pelosi said.
When no one applauded, she demanded they clap.
“I — That’s an applause line!” Pelosi said. The crowd applauded as directed.
“And let us salute Leader Schumer [and] his colleagues in the Senate for their extraordinary leadership and the success in bringing this bill to the floor,” Pelosi added.
“That’s an applause line!” Schumer replied.
Many on social media compared it to an awkward moment for then-presidential candidate Jeb Bush in February 2015. Speaking before a small audience, Bush ended a line of his speech and joked, “please clap!” when met with silence from the crowd. He was endlessly mocked for the incident on social media.
Others noted that Pelosi praised Biden for legislation meant to lower inflation on the same day that the stock market tanked by more than a thousand points after the newest report of high inflation.
Inflation remained at historically high levels in the economic report for August. The Dow Jones responded to the news by crashing down more than 800 points, or 2.62%, while the Nasdaq plummeted by nearly 4% and the S&P 500 index fell by 3%.
Some economists expected inflation to lessen after oil prices dropped due to lower demand.