State of the Union 2015: #YesWeTan, A Wink, Ernest Moniz, Instagram, Sony Hack, and More Viral Moments

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Check out the viral moments from President Obama's 2015 State of the Union address, including a clip of his wink, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz's face, an Instagram shout-out, and more. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images

In his words, "The shadow of crisis has passed and the State of the Union is strong." President Barack Obama delivered his 2015 State of the Union address — the sixth of his presidency — on Tuesday, Jan. 20, bringing the annual #SOTU hashtag to the forefront of Twitter feeds worldwide.

Before POTUS took to the podium at 9 p.m. ET to address the nation, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer teased a photo of a tan suit on the White House's official Twitter account. "The President's suiting up for the big speech," he wrote. "Tune into WH.gov/SOTU at 9pm ET #YesWeTan -Dan." The funny photo and hashtags were nods to Obama's controversial tan suit which he wore during his State of the Union address in 2014.

The President's suiting up for the big speech. Tune into WH.gov/SOTU at 9pm ET #YesWeTan -Dan

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on Jan 20, 2015 at 4:47pm PST

Some would argue that the #YesWeTan was also a prelude to Speaker of the House John Boehner's orange complexion, as he's solicited remarks on social media in the past about his rather tan appearance.

Obama managed to keep his audience — particularly Vice President Joe Biden — enraptured throughout his 60-minute SOTU address, which was his second to last one ever. One social media moment that took off was when the president made a funny facial gesture in a brief moment of respite from the numerous serious topics he discussed.

Barack Obama Wink GIF

Barack Obama Wink

"This is good news people," he told the room with a wink and a smile. The moment was quickly captured and shared by Vine users. In another, he discussed the topic of equal pay with some humor. "This is 2015," he said to laughter. "It's time."

Another surprise star from Tuesday night's State of the Union was Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, whose reaction to the president's address quickly became an Internet meme. Funny or Die tweeted a still of Moniz's "pleasantly surprised" expression during Obama's solar and wind portion of his speech, which went viral.

ernest gif

Obama also gave a nod to astronaut Scott Kelly, cleverly weaving in Instagram as part of his shout-out to the explorer who will start a year-long journey in space come March. "Good luck, Captain," POTUS said. "Make sure to Instagram it."


On a more serious note involving Hollywood, Obama spoke out about cyber attacks, hot off the recent Sony hack.

"No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids," the president remarked.

"We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism.. Tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information."

In one moment of solidarity between parties, Boehner stood up behind the President and applauded when Obama addressed terrorism. "We will continue to hunt down terrorists," Obama said resolutely, "and dismantle their networks and reserve the right to act unilaterally."

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