Rep. Joe Kennedy III was tasked with delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s well-received State of the Union address on Tuesday night, and while his effort earned adulation from his party’s base, it was his lip balm that set the social media universe aflame on Tuesday night.
Twitter was buzzing with lighthearted memes and earnest questions alike after Kennedy – a Harvard law grad with impeccable credentials and one of the most prestigious last names around – appeared to be drooling or recovering from a particularly greasy meal while offering his remarks.
The corners of Kennedy’s mouth could be seen glistening under the heavy lights, an unflattering optical effect that grew more intense when he turned his head in certain directions. Some Twitter users speculated that lip balm was to blame, leading to a joke account called “Joe Kennedy’s Lips” to crop up and post a flurry of Chapstick memes.
The Joe Kennedy III #SOTU preparation starter kit. pic.twitter.com/qGMVc7yZRb
— Joe Kennedy's Lips (@JoeKennedyLips) January 31, 2018
“This is petty but Joe Kennedy used a little too much lip gloss on them small lips,” one Twitter user suggested. “That shine in the corners is distracting me.”
“Rubio had his water; Kennedy has his drool,” quipped Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.
Rubio had his water
Kennedy has his drool
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) January 31, 2018
“Ask not what your country can drool for you, ask what you can drool for your country!” laughed yet another Twitter user.
To his credit, Kennedy was able to laugh off the social media buzz during a Wednesday morning appearance on ABC.
“Oddly enough, I decided to go a little bit light on the chapstick this morning,” he joked. “More on the coffee, light on the chopstick, which was probably a wise choice.”