As reporters found their seats in the House press gallery, they shared a question: Where was Ted Nugent? The 64-year old rock star, who last cracked the charts with 1980’s “Wango Tango,” had been invited to the State of the Union as a guest of Texas Rep. Steve Stockman. Thirty-odd Democrats had invited the families of gun violence victims to sit for the speech, but they were never famous. Not even in 1980.
Buzzfeed’s D.C. editor John Stanton asked a peer to help him find a “tall, crazy-looking” white guy. When President Obama entered the chamber, Nugent stood up, and reporters finally saw him. He spent the entire speech, 13 typed pages, in various stages of physical agony. At the emotional apex of the night, when the president counted off victims who “deserve a vote,” Nugent sat with his arms crossed.