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#Meme Of The Week: George W. Bush Battles Poncho At Inauguration And Loses

Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush depart after the inauguration ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
Jim Watson
/
AFP/Getty Images
Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush depart after the inauguration ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.

The inauguration of President Donald Trump was a divisive event, as the protests in Northwest D.C. showed. But a few blocks southeast, another battle was unfolding on the inaugural stage.

Not between Republican and Democrat, but between a man and his poncho.

Light rain began just as Trump started in on his remarks. Fortunately, many in attendance came prepared. Former first lady Michelle Obama and former second lady Jill Biden shared a bubble umbrella. First lady Melania Trump had one, too.

Other attendees had translucent ponchos. Former President George W. Bush went that route, but it didn't work out exactly as planned.

As much as he tried, he just couldn't seem to get the poncho to cooperate, and the Twitterverse couldn't let it go.

Bush shouldn't worry though; it's not the first time a Republican has got himself into some trouble with a poncho. Back in 2012, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was criticized for making fun of some NASCAR fans for wearing the rain gear, saying: "I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks."

If history is any guide, will the dreaded poncho make another splash on the political stage four years from now?

Or will it be bubble gum?

(Watch closely behind Melania Trump as another former Texas governor, Rick Perry, struggles to blow a bubble.)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Meg Anderson is an editor on NPR's Investigations team, where she shapes the team's groundbreaking work for radio, digital and social platforms. She served as a producer on the Peabody Award-winning series Lost Mothers, which investigated the high rate of maternal mortality in the United States. She also does her own original reporting for the team, including the series Heat and Health in American Cities, which won multiple awards, and the story of a COVID-19 outbreak in a Black community and the systemic factors at play. She also completed a fellowship as a local reporter for WAMU, the public radio station for Washington, D.C. Before joining the Investigations team, she worked on NPR's politics desk, education desk and on Morning Edition. Her roots are in the Midwest, where she graduated with a Master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
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