Ayanna Pressley Skipped SOTU to Avoid Becoming a Meme

February 7, 2020

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) on Friday said part of her decision to skip the State of the Union earlier Tuesday was to avoid criticism, such as being made into "memes."

"It was a sham of a State of the Union to me," Pressley said during a town hall event put on by Democracy Now! and the Rising Majority. "The other thing is that I didn’t want to give anyone the opportunity to once again co-opt our imagery and to weaponize it. So I could go there and raise eyebrow and mean-mug and do that. And I did not want them to take and make it into memes.

"I already know how [President Donald Trump] feels about me and our folk, and I didn't want anyone speculating about how I felt. I wanted to control my own narrative, my own image."

Despite skipping the State of the Union, the freshman congresswoman delivered a Working Families Party response to it, which she said was also part of her effort to maintain control of her narrative.