House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a stinging rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s prime-time address Tuesday night, but many viewers were more consumed by the speech’s strange, double-headed visuals than its political message.
Speaking side-by-side from behind a single podium, the Democratic leaders accused Trump of “manufacturing” an immigration crisis and called on him to re-open the government. While the shared staging was perhaps intended to convey Democrats’ solidarity against Trump’s immigration policies, many social media pundits were distracted by its “bizarre-looking, two-headed” optics, and they weren’t shy about sharing their feedback.
Well that is an awkward podium setup.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) January 9, 2019
A record night! Featuring the most simple-minded speech ever from the Oval Office and the most bizarre-looking two-headed response.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 9, 2019
One podium, one speaker (at a time). Not a good look. pic.twitter.com/qR201bREPD
— Wayne J. Jung (@waynejung) January 9, 2019
Some noted that the doubled delivery made Pelosi and Schumer look like admonishing parents, and the jokes piled on.
I suddenly feel like I've disappointed my parents. pic.twitter.com/uUn870tQEG
— A???? P????? (@AaronFlux) January 9, 2019
“We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed.” pic.twitter.com/MjMdhoB7Fn
— Erin For President (@erinscafe) January 9, 2019
Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi: this is going to be a slam dunk
*stands extremely close together behind a podium while staring down the camera awkwardly for way too long*
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) January 9, 2019
Other commenters made reference to the ongoing government shutdown, suggesting the single-podium setup was the result of scant federal funding.
— Brendan Joyce (@BrendanMJoyce) January 9, 2019
this was the largest podium we could afford
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 9, 2019
The comic merit of the Democrats’ speech is likely to persist, Twitters users noted, offering an image for satirists that may be too good to resist.
Well, there's your SNL cold open for the week: Chuck and Nancy's shared podium.
— Clare Malone (@ClareMalone) January 9, 2019