Speaking Friday at the Democratic National Committee’s meeting of the Women’s Leadership Forum, Obama made some jokes comparing Republicans to Grumpy Cat, a 3-year-old cat whose underbite and dwarfism gives it an expression that appears stuck in a permanent frown.
“Why is it Republican politicians are so down on America?” Obama asked. “I mean, they are gloomy.” He paused for effect, then added, “They’re like Grumpy Cat,” and mimicked the cat’s expression for laughs.
Tardar Sauce, as the cat’s actually named, has been wildly popular online since 2013, when it won “best meme” awards and landed what was supposed to be a movie deal.
There’s a spotty history of politicians, especially congressional Republicans for some reason, trying to use memes to engage with constituents on Twitter.
wow. such obamacare funding. oppose ted cruz. pic.twitter.com/bIgXNNpimi
— Rep. Steve Stockman (@StockmanSenate) December 23, 2013
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 23, 2013
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 21, 2015
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) July 18, 2012
Given politicians’ readiness to embrace Internet culture, it’s entirely possible one will be funny with a meme in the future.