HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Stone-Cold SOTU

Posted January 28, 2010 at 11:00am

Despite all the fiery rhetoric and hot air that surrounds the president’s State of the Union speech, the event last night was a frigid affair. [IMGCAP(1)]Literally — the air in the House chamber was frosty, leading to jokes (before President Barack Obama even took the podium) about his “chilly reception— in Congress. The plummeting temps even had some Members’ teeth a-chattering.“It’s like a refrigerator in there,— Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said. Even though the House usually cranks up the air conditioning in advance of packing 500-plus bodies onto the floor for joint addresses, “This seems to be the worst ever,— Engel added.One jokey theory for the freeze: First lady Michelle Obama opted for a long-sleeved ensemble this year, after stunning the audience last year by appearing at a joint session of Congress in a tradition-thumbing sleeveless dress. Talk about strong-arming Congress.And the chill added a new meaning to a line from Obama’s speech in which he urged Congress to get back to work on health care after contentious debates on the matter. “As the temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed,— he said. Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.Can’t get enough HOH? Get a midday dose of fun and gossip with HOH’s One-Minute Recess, delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here — because everyone deserves more recess.