President Obama waves goodbye after giving his final State of the Union on Tuesday. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)
Hours before taking his seat behind President Barack Obama for the State of the Union address, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was planning on practicing his “poker face.”
“I probably should practice in the mirror,” Ryan, who was elected as speaker in October, said Monday on MSNBC. “I need to get the whole poker-face thing down. I need to be real stoic.”
He wasn’t kidding.
Ryan’s face during Obama’s speech became a topic of conversation on Twitter, where many noted the Wisconsin Republican’s expressionless, often pained stare.
Only now do I appreciate John Boehner’s ability to put on a poker face. Paul Ryan can’t do it.
— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire)
Paul Ryan, like Derek Zoolander, apparently has only one look.
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix)
I didn’t think it was possible but Paul Ryan’s smirky face makes me miss John Boehner’s orange face #SOTU
— Quinn Sutherland (@ReelQuinn)
— The Onion (@TheOnion)
Paul Ryan’s muted, flickering facial expressions are an inscrutable argot all their own. #SOTU
— Frank Bruni (@FrankBruni)
Quick! Can someone call 911 and direct an ambulance to the Capitol? Paul Ryan is motionless, may have fallen unconscious.
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof)
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee)
When the Capri Sun straw breaks and you didn’t even pierce the pouch. pic.twitter.com/UgHmHGcNNd
— Unfuckwittable. (@MsReyda)
paul ryan, are you being held against your will? blink twice if you’re okay. stare straight forward and do nothing if you need rescuing.
— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports)
Paul Ryan now thinking about what he’s gonna sing at GOP secret karaoke tonight. Probably Night Ranger.
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox)
Ryan’s refusal to applaud even the least partisan of Obama’s proposals did not go unnoticed.
Paul Ryan came in with a no-clapping plan and by God, he’s sticking with it
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray)
Can’t even get a “let’s cure cancer!” applause out of Paul Ryan.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes)
After curing cancer, we should cure the problem that prevents Paul Ryan’s hands from joining even for things he agrees with. #SOTU
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites)
— Jaclyn Diaz (@jaclyn_diaz)
Obama should really try to test Paul Ryan’s no-applause policy here: “Puppies are cute.” “Hitler was bad.” “P90X is effective.”
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza)
Paul Ryan simply is experiencing Botox gone bad. He’s been trying to cheer wildly.
— Dan Primack (@danprimack)
Obama did manage to solicit a semi-laugh out of the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee.
Here’s Paul Ryan trying reeeeally hard not to laugh at one of Obama’s jokes pic.twitter.com/gqekuYJ1BF
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine)
Paul Ryan tried not to smile at that joke, finally did.
— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep)
It wasn’t long before Ryan’s reaction became a meme of its own.
This is what Paul Ryan is thinking about right now… pic.twitter.com/wHxJ4N4pJC
— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel)
— The Onion (@TheOnion)
can someone check on paul ryan pic.twitter.com/Rne2vcRXk1
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono)
— Dwayne David Paul (@DwayneDavidPaul)