First lady Jill Biden suffered a Jeb Bush “please clap” moment on Thursday, when her applause line fell utterly flat during an event in Washington.
“I’ve visited red states and blue states and I’ve found that the common values that unite us are deeper than our divisions,” Jill told an audience at the Reagan Institute Summit on Education in Washington, DC.
After saying the line, the first lady paused for a moment before reacting with surprise at spectators’ non-reaction.
“And, um, I thought you might clap for that,” said Biden, drawing laughs and applause.
The first lady’s plea for plaudits was reminiscent of former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s viral moment of desperation on the campaign trail in 2016.
The former Florida governor asked an audience in New Hampshire with a mixture of politeness and exasperation to “please clap” after delivering a line from his stump speech which was meant to rouse the crowd – but didn’t.
The first lady suffered a similarly awkward moment back in 2019 while campaigning for her husband.
She told a small audience in Iowa that if Joe Biden were elected president, Americans would say to themselves: “Finally someone is standing up to the NRA and keeping our children and our schools safe.”
The remark only drew a response after a shocked Jill Biden exclaimed, “That’s my applause line, come on!”
The RISE conference “hosts education leaders from across the country,” according to the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute.
The first lady holds a faculty position at Northern Virginia Community College, where she teaches English.
Former Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson – a 2024 GOP presidential candidate – and Maryland Democratic Gov. Wes Moore were among the other speakers at the annual event.