The one word that leaped out of President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress wasn’t “optimism,” “business,” “teachers,” “economy” or “budget.”
To those who listened to the speech on National Public Radio, the memorable term was “salmon,” writ large in a word cloud NPR compiled from its listeners after Obama finished.
That kind of makes sense. Without the Punch-and-Judy theater of Republicans and Democrats popping up from their seats to cheer or boo, as they customarily do when they’re seated on opposing sides of the room for a presidential address, it was up to the Commander in Chief to deliver some chuckle-worthy lines.
Obama got his biggest laugh for this rather understated poke at overlapping federal bureaucracies:
“There are 12 different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different agencies that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. (Laughter.) I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked. (Laughter and applause.)”