It’s the clapback that folks can’t get enough of. The scene: Last week’s politically fraught State of the Union address. The moment: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clapping for President Donald Trump with her arms extended and a smirk on her face that viewers interpreted as intentionally sarcastic, like a pat on the head for an unruly child. The memes unfurled like a miles-long red carpet, and Pelosi once again is an internet star.
Take her appearances this weekend in La La Land. On Saturday at Clive Davis’ famous pre-Grammys party at the Beverly Hilton, the room was packed with some of music’s biggest stars, including Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dionne Warwick and Berry Gordy. But it wasn’t rapper Travis Scott or recent Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman who got the most selfie requests.
After Davis announced that the speaker was in the house, calling her a politician who’s “front and center like never before,” the crowd got on its feet with some of the A-listers imitating her now-famous clap, according to news reports.
The night before, Pelosi attended the MusiCares gala and posed with singer Katy Perry re-enacting the clap, which at this point needs its own name.
For her part, the 78-year-old politician has said that the clap was just a clap. “It wasn’t sarcastic,” she told reporters a day after the viral moment. “Look at what I was applauding,” Pelosi said, referring to Trump’s line about compromise over revenge. “I wanted him to know that it was very welcomed.”