WASHINGTON — One of the most celebrated guests at the State of the Union address Tuesday was not a politician, but Willie Robertson, a star of the hit A&E show “Duck Dynasty.”
Robertson attended the speech as a guest of Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister, and he stood out in the sea of coats and ties with his long beard, untucked white shirt, and signature American flag bandana around his head.
“It was neat being here,” he told reporters after the speech. “It’s cool to be here. Neat experience.”
From the moment Robertson arrived in the Capitol complex, he was in high demand — multiple lawmakers tweeted pictures of themselves posing with him before the speech.
When he was seated in the visitor’s gallery of the House chamber before the speech, he was introduced to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who had made a special trip up there to speak to Robertson and shook his hand with a big grin on his face. Later, Sen. John McCain waved up at him from the House floor. McCain pulled over New York Democratic Sen. Kristin Gillibrand and pointed out Robertson; Gillibrand also waved excitedly. Robertson waved back.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Steve Israel approached Robertson after the speech, introducing himself and telling him he “just wanted to say hello.”
Asked how it felt to be one of the big attractions of the evening, Robertson told The Daily Caller: “It was awesome.”
“I don’t know,” he went on. “I think it’s the beard.”
At that point, a staffer interrupted the conversation to ask Robertson to take a picture with her.