The Snub

Much is being made (still!) about President Donald Trump’s seeming snub of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA) offered handshake as Trump handed up copies of his SOTU speech to the Vice President of the United States/President of the Senate Mike Pence and to Pelosi. Ample video shows Pelosi accepting the copy of his speech with her right hand, then switching hands in order to offer her right hand to shake and Trump turning away to begin his speech without taking the handshake.

There are three possibilities for this.

One is that Trump did, indeed, snub Pelosi.

Another is that Pence did not offer his hand, which the videos also clearly show, and Trump was not looking for or expecting any offered handshake.

Another is that Trump was only handing up the copies and, as the videos show, was turning back to his podium to begin his speech when Pelosi offered her hand: whether mentally focused on the beginning of his speech or merely insufficiently observant, he didn’t see the hand, just as he didn’t see the hand not offered by Pence.

Which possibility an observer focuses on—especially to the exclusion of the others—says volumes about the observer, and it says not a syllable about the event itself.

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