But at exactly the same time, Bachmann’s friend and seatmate for the speech, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), was busy doing an unusual favor for her: getting Bachmann the president’s autograph.
The president typically signs speech books for members of Congress right after he speaks, and Tuesday was no exception.
“I had my [State of the Union speech] from last year with me, that I needed to have signed,” Schmidt explained, “and one for me this year, and one for Michele.”
Schmidt didn’t say whether Obama knew that he was signing a book for one of his most vocal critics, but it’s unlikely that would have made any difference. The dark-blue, “Sharpie-style” signatures on the books were formal, and there were no personal notes.
That’s probably a good thing, given that Bachmann sat stone-faced for most of the hourlong speech, reserving her tepid applause for all but the most Republican-friendly points.
Bachmann’s reaction to Obama was a sharp contrast to her memorable embrace, and kiss, of then-President George W. Bush at his 2007 State of the Union address.