‘Go for him’ or ‘Go for them’, Biden’s enigmatic ending baffles the US


President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill as Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California look on Tuesday, March 1. of 2022 in Washington. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

For him or for them? It is the question this Tuesday in the United States after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, or rather who was he referring to, when he finished with this off-script phrase.

After the traditional “May God protect our military”, Biden proclaimed a “Go get him” or “Go get ’em” (it depends on the listener since pronounced in English there are hardly any differences “Go get him” or “Go get ’em” ) accompanied by the forceful gesture of the clenched fist.

The guests at the Congress applauded formally.

However, seconds later, the bewilderment boiled over.

Who was he referring to? Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he harshly criticized during the speech? To the covid-19 virus? To the Russians, in general? Was it one of Biden’s usual lapses?

The White House sends journalists the complete and revised text of the speech delivered by the leaders in such a solemn event. Everyone went back to the official document to confirm his words, and indeed, no sign of Biden’s mysterious end.

Although sometimes the leaders go slightly out of the expected, they usually do it to highlight an argument, not to cause perplexity among the spectators.

Consequence: social networks on fire and the unknown phrase immediately became viral, with comments for all tastes.

Some acknowledged that they would be unable to fall asleep without knowing the answer, others joked that the phrase was a metaphor for Biden’s first year in the White House.


It was not the only improvisation by Biden, who also went off script to mock, this time with precision, the staunch defense of the Republicans’ right to carry automatic weapons.

“Do you think deer wear bulletproof vests?” the president said with a half smile.

What was a mistake was when he mentioned “the Iranian people”, when he wanted to refer to the “Ukrainian people”

“Putin can surround Kiev with tanks, but he will never win the hearts and souls of the Iranian people,” Biden warned.

The president was not the only protagonist of the anecdotes of the night.

Throughout the speech, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer could be seen getting up at the wrong time and applauding alone amid boos from the Republican opposition and Supreme Court Conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett responding with forced hieraticism to the defense of the right to abortion of Biden.

Cries were also heard, albeit minority, in favor of the border wall of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021); and an unusual self-criticism of capitalism from within the great world capitalist economy.

“I am a capitalist, but capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It is exploitation,” Biden said.

However, all that was in the background.

At the end of the speech of exactly one hour, one minute and twenty seconds and in which he was interrupted 91 times, according to the unofficial historian of the White House, journalist Mark Knoller, the mystery continues among Americans.

“Go for him” or “Go for them” is the least of it. But does anyone know who Biden was specifically targeting?

This story was originally published on March 2, 2022 6:22 a.m.

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