Who knew that on the morning after the president's State of the Union address people would be talking about... salmon?
Amid the seriousness of last night's address, several offbeat developments began to create buzz, either for their amusement factor, or because they sparked curiosity.
Below, we round up some of our favorite legacies of SOTU 2011 that are still reverberating from last night:
The president's salmon joke: Discussions of bureaucratic redundancy don't generally make for uproarious comedy. But President Obama managed to get the audience laughing when he made this quip: "The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater... I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."
Kathy Proctor's moment in the spotlight: Cameras panned to audience member Kathy Proctor when Obama began discussing the value of community colleges. And as Obama began telling her story-- of being a 55-year-old mother of two earning a new degree in biotechnology-- cameras captured Kathy recognizing herself in the president's speech. The footage showed Proctor turning to the people seated to her right and left to identify herself. "That's me," Proctor was caught mouthing.
Obama's tie color: Was it purple? Periwinkle? Lavender? What did it mean? Commentators have been kicking around the color of Obama's tie as a possible coded message about bipartisanship by choosing purple--that being the one color bringing Republican red together with Democratic blue. The Daily Intel notes that all three of the men on the dais last night (Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, and Vice President Joe Biden) sported a purplish hue.
"Prom" king and queen: When members of Congress began calling each other up to ask if they could sit together in bipartisan fashion, pundits started calling the State of the Union Congress's "prom." The same commentators informally nominated one photogenic Senate pair-- Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) as prom king and queen and soon enough, congressional aides were even referring to the pair that way.
Bachmann's technical difficulty: There were only two ways to watch Rep. Michele Bachman's (R-Minn.) Tea Party Express response to the State of the Union last night, and both outlets were marred by technical difficulties. If you tuned in to CNN, Bachmann spent the entire speech looking off to the side. It was later revealed that Bachmann was looking into the wrong camera. And the webcast of her speech online via the Tea Party Express was also beset by problems. Many reported the video failed to load at all.
Paul Broun's Twitter venting: There was no Joe Wilson-like "You lie!" outburst at the State of the Union, but Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) made headlines for using his Twitter account to bash the president from the confines of his office. Broun's rant included tweets such as: "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism"; Obama is "calling for amnesty" for illegal aliens; and "all children will be poor if we continue with Obama's policies."
"Winning the Future": Officials gave President Obama's speech the title of "Winning the Future," a phrase Obama uttered during his address. But use of the quote provoked much speculation. Was Obama trying to top Politico's "Win the Morning" mantra? Did he know the phrase was the title of a book by one of his potential 2012 rivals, Newt Gingrich?
(Photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
- President Obama
- State of the Union address
- Paul Broun
- members of Congress
- Winning the Future
- Tea Party Express