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Nancy Pelosi begs White House audience to clap as speech falls flat

 August 17, 2023

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California faced moments of silence during her speech about the Inflation Reduction Act, prompting her to remind the audience when to clap.

In a recent event at the White House, Pelosi encountered several instances where her remarks did not receive the expected applause from the audience, leaving her embarrassed at times.

During her speech about the Inflation Reduction Act's one-year anniversary, she had to remind attendees to clap on multiple occasions, as reported by Fox News.

Pelosi's emphasis on the Inflation Reduction Act

Pelosi was joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at the White House to highlight the achievements of the aforementioned legislation.

She spoke passionately about the benefits of the act, describing it as a "remarkable accomplishment." The act, which was signed into law by President Biden, aimed at reducing inflation and providing economic relief to American families.

She also touched upon the pressing issue of climate change, labeling it as a health, economic, and moral concern.

Pelosi emphasized the moral responsibility humans have towards the planet, stating that even if one doesn't view the planet as God's creation, everyone can agree on the importance of ensuring a healthy environment for future generations.

Instances where applause was expected but not received

During Pelosi's speech, there were moments when she paused, expecting applause from the audience.

However, when the applause did not come, she felt the need to prompt the audience. At one point, after discussing the importance of addressing climate change, she remarked:

I think that's an applause line.

Later, while acknowledging the legislative efforts of Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) in addressing climate change, she once again reminded the audience, "That's an applause line."

After her prompt, the attendees did respond with applause. Such moments highlight the challenges speakers sometimes face in gauging audience reactions.

Previous instances of Pelosi seeking applause

This isn't the first time Pelosi has had to prompt an audience for praise. A similar situation occurred last September during a White House lawn event celebrating President Biden's signing of the law. Back then, she used the same line to encourage the audience to clap.

During the recent event, Pelosi also took a moment to recognize the efforts of House Democrats who contributed to the passing of the controversial legislation.

She urged the audience to applaud their efforts, signaling the lawmakers to stand up, showcasing her leadership and acknowledgment of her team's hard work.

Comparisons to past political events

Pelosi's recent prompts for applause brought back memories of a similar incident involving former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

During his 2016 campaign, Bush, after delivering a passionate statement, faced a silent audience. He then said, "Please clap," which eventually led to applause and some cheers.

Such instances provide a glimpse into the unpredictable nature of public speaking.


  • Nancy Pelosi had to prompt the White House audience multiple times to applaud during her speech.
  • She was discussing the achievements of the Inflation Reduction Act and the importance of addressing climate change.
  • This isn't the first instance where Pelosi had to remind an audience to clap.
  • Her recent prompts were reminiscent of Jeb Bush's "please clap" moment during his 2016 presidential campaign.