Americans watching President Donald Trump's town hall on NBC News may have noticed a woman sitting behind him who kept nodding her head in agreement with nearly everything the president said.
When Guthrie challenged the president, she shook her head to signal disapproval. She even seemed to give Trump a thumbs-up near the end of the forum.
Her constant head moves sparked biting commentary on Twitter and earned her the nickname "nodding bobble head" from at least one viewer and a hashtag, #noddinglady, from others.
"I don't know who the nodding bobble head is behind Trump but someone on the Trump communications team finally earned their pay," Tom Nichols, a senior adviser to an anti-Trump group made up of disillusioned Republicans, quipped on Twitter.
"She's a strategically placed paid nodder," responded one woman, whose Twitter profile identified her as a Biden supporter.
Allison Harris, a Dallas TV reporter, tweeted: "The nodding is to the Trump town hall what the fly was to the VP debate," referencing the distracting few moments of the vice presidential debate when a fly landed on Mike Pence's white hair.
Meet Mayra Joli
By the end of the night, the nodding lady was identified by a Miami Herald reporter as Mayra Joli, an immigration lawyer, five-time beauty queen and Trump supporter who ran as independent for Congress in Miami in 2018. During that campaign, she dubbed herself Miami’s “master of selfies," according to the Herald.
After the forum, she greeted the president and told him “We have your back!" the Herald story said.
"Where are you from?” Trump asked her. "I’m from the Dominican Republic, but I’m American, I’m an American,” she responded.
Joli did not ask a question during the event.
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But she got a lot of air time nonetheless.
"The woman over Trump’s shoulder nodding at many of his points is a real visual coup," posted another Twitter user.
The other woman: Paulette
Paulette Dale received a smattering of applause followed by social media fame for her gushing praise for Trump’s smile.
“Good evening Mr. President. I have to say you have a great smile,” she said. Dale is registered as a Republican but voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and is leaning slightly toward voting for Biden.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 16, 2020
Trump grinned widely as some in the audience appeared to agree with Dale.
“He does; you’re so handsome when you smile,” Dale said.
Dale went on to ask Trump about immigration policy, but social media reaction focused on Dale “shooting her shot” with the president.
Contributing: Joel Shannon
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Woman behind Trump — and her nod — catches a share of the attention