Kim Davis didn't find much she could applaud Tuesday night during President Barack Obama's final State of the Union. But she did find a few things.
Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, applauded the president just four times and was frequently one of the few members of the audience who, Republican or Democrat, sat stoically during the biggest lines. Who invited her to the address was a mystery for most of the day Tuesday. Turns out it was House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who didn't even know he had invited her until The Huffington Post asked him about it.
As for the clapping, Davis did applaud when the Senate entered the chamber, which was the only group she clapped for upon their introduction. (She was one of the few audience members to not clap when the Sergeant-at-Arms announced Obama.)
For a good chunk of the start of the speech, Davis avoided applauding for Obama at all. She sat through lines on a strong economy, job creation, even delivering benefits to veterans -- all of which drew ovations from many Republicans.
But the line that broke her no-clapping streak was this: "I think there are outdated regulations that need to be changed, and there’s red tape that needs to be cut," Obama said.
Republicans cheered. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shouted in approval. Kim Davis golf clapped. (One.)
The next line that got Davis was perhaps Obama's biggest of the night. "Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world," he said. There was a standing ovation on the House floor. There was a calm, calculated applause from Davis. (Two.)
She sat through some other big lines that garnered ovations. When Obama called for making America the country that cures cancer, Davis was still. When Obama said America was on track to end HIV and AIDS, Davis -- perhaps predictably -- didn't applaud. She didn't clap for stopping the spread of Ebola, she didn't clap for the space program, and she didn't clap for reducing the influence of money in politics.
But Davis did applaud going after terrorists. (Three.) And she clapped twice -- but just twice -- at a line that was almost written for her. "We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion," Obama said. (Four.)
That was the last time she clapped. At the end, when Obama finished his speech with the customary "the State of our Union is strong" line, Davis stayed seated through the standing ovation. At one point, she was one of the very few people in the entire chamber -- excluding the press -- who wasn't standing. Finally, Davis rose from her seat, stuck her gallery ticket in her mouth, and adjusted her clothes.
She did not clap.