“Him” or “them”? That’s the question many Americans are asking themselves this Tuesday following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. After the traditional “May God protect our troops,” Biden proclaimed a “Go get him” or “Go get ’em,” accompanied by the resounding gesture of a clenched fist.
The congressional guests applauded formally. Seconds later, however, bewilderment overflowed.
Who was he referring to? Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he harshly criticized during the speech? COVID-19? Russians in general? Was it one of Biden’s usual lapses?
The White House sends reporters the full, revised text of the speech delivered by the presidents at such a solemn event. Everyone went back to the official document to confirm their words, and indeed, no trace of Biden’s mysterious ending.
Although sometimes presidents go slightly off script, they usually do so to underscore an argument, not to provoke bewilderment among the spectators.
As a result, social networks went up in flames and the unknown phrase immediately went viral, with comments for all tastes.
Some recognized that they would be unable to sleep without knowing the answer, while others joked that the phrase was a metaphor for Biden’s first year in the White House.
The Iranian people
Biden got the warring countries wrong during the speech when he mentioned “the Iranian people,” when he meant to allude to “the Ukrainian people.”
“Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people,” Biden warned.
The president was not the only protagonist of the evening’s anecdotes.
Throughout the speech, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer could be seen standing up at the wrong time and applauding in solitude amid boos from the Republican opposition and conservative Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett responding to Biden’s defense of abortion.
There were also shouts in favor of former President Donald Trump’s (2017-2021) border wall; and an unusual critique of capitalism from the president.
“I’m a capitalist, but capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation,” Biden said.
All of that, however, was put on the back burner.
At the end of the speech of exactly one hour, one minute and twenty seconds, and in which he was interrupted 91 times, according to the White House’s unofficial historian, journalist Mark Knoller, the mystery still lingers among Americans.
“Go get him” or “Go get’em” is the least of it, but does anyone know who Biden was specifically addressing?