One of the stranger moments from Joe Biden’s second State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday evening came when his wife, First Lady Dr Jill Biden, approached her seat in the gallery and encountered Doug Emhoff, husband of vice president Kamala Harris.
Making her way along the row past applauding guests, Dr Biden held the second gentlemen’s hand before the pair exchanged a friendly kiss, after which the first lady slid past Mr Emhoff and shook hands with Irish rock star Bono and Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House speaker Nancy Pelosi who is in recovery after recently being attacked in his home by an intruder.
This brief moment has since been described by The New York Post as a “cosy display” which added that “no one in the immediate vicinity seemed fazed by the kiss”.
That has not been the case on social media, however, where C-Span and Fox footage of the moment has gone viral, prompting excitable conservative commentators to make a federal case out of it.
“Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff greet each other with... a kiss on the lips? Is this... normal?” asked shocked Daily Wire editor Cabot Phillips after sharing the clip on Twitter.
“ARE U KIDDING ME? In front of God and country! Who does that?” fumed Doris Gentry, a former vice mayor of Napa, California, apparently.
The matter has since been given the capital letter treatment by The Daily Mail (“Jill Biden appears to kiss Doug Emhoff on the LIPS…”) while a blue tick account calling itself “Not El Chapo” alleged that Mr Emhoff typically shows his wife little affection but “practically slips Dr Jill the tongue”: “What...is...going...on?”
Bringing a little much-needed sobriety to the feverish atmosphere of the debate was the Angry Staffer account, which commented: “The GOP is having a collective heart attack because Jill Biden pecked Doug Emhoff on the lips. If you needed any more proof they all have mommy issues.”
In the wake of this moment, President Biden duly delivered what proved to be a highly combative speech in which he addressed the key concerns facing America right now. He championed the economic bounceback and his own administration’s legislative record before shooting down Republican hecklers.