Former President Bill Clinton could not control himself from dozing off during Joe Biden's inauguration at the Capitol on Wednesday. As he nodded off during Biden's speech, hundreds of news cameras present at the venue caught his actions and eagle-eyed viewers rushed to Twitter to joke about it.
This, however, isn't the first time that the former President has been accused of catching a wink during an important official event. In fact, former president Donald Trump too had come up with similar allegations about Clinton a few years back. That said, Wednesday's ceremony was different than in years past with fewer attendees due to the pandemic, which made it even easier for the cameras to spot a sleeping Clinton.
Clinton's eyes drooped as the newly elected Biden delivered his first Presidential Address after being sworn in 10 minutes ahead of schedule at around 11.50 am. The camera cut to the crowd, where Clinton appeared to have his eyes shut as the camera zoomed in. Clinton, 74, was sitting next to wife Hillary and behind former Vice President Mike Pence, all of whom listened intently while Biden spoke.
However, he appeared to reopen his eyes slightly and then closed them again before the camera cut back to the new President. Catching a wink during a political speech, however, is not new to the Clinton. He was accused (including by Donald Trump) of a similar moment back in 2016 when Hillary Clinton accepted her party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Twitter Cracks Jokes
Although no one is sure if he was really nodding off in that clip or just to be looking down, the slightly awkward moment left people in stitches on Twitter as they poked fun at the incident. The original clip was posted by user @the_lunarfather, who wrote, "bill clinton is really asleep rn,". However, on YouTube, the clip of Clinton with his eyes closed is actually slowed down, which makes it appear much longer than the moment is.
One user tweeted: "Somebody wake up Bill. He over there nodding off." Another wrote: "Bill Clinton must've had a late night. He's out there nodding off lol."
Sebastian Gorga (@SebGorka), who served as a deputy assistant to former President Trump from January to August 2017, posted a screenshot with the caption, "Biden only just started talking and @BillClinton's already asleep." Another user, @marklutchman, posted his own still of the moment, observing that "Bill Clinton has fallen asleep."
Another user added: "Best part of Biden's inauguration speech was Bill Clinton caught on camera having a hard time keeping his eyes open and even looking like he was sleeping at one point."
That said, the inauguration ceremony this time was different from earlier years. Only 1,000 people attended it and they were selected. Clinton was a good 20 ft away from Biden and might have thought himself out of view.