Many members of Congress leapt to their feet to applaud Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his address March 3. Here are the top 10 lines. (Associated Press)

Something "big" happened in Washington, D.C., today, which means that it's incumbent upon us in the political media to reduce it, like chefs with balsamic vinegar, to something palatable, measurable and disconnected from its original substance.

So we present: How Netanyahu's congressional speeches have compared with Obama's States of the Union, in terms of standing ovations.

This is a surprisingly subjective measure. Standing ovations can be hard to see if they're short and the camera stays on the speaker. It's not clear how many people constitute an official standing O: Just one? Half the chamber? We identified The Post's best counters through a two-week-long regimen conducted at a facility in Silver Spring, and had the best-of-the-best make a determination of how many times Benjamin Netanyahu's speech  Tuesday earned that gold standard. By our count: 22 -- somewhat less than  Obama's 2015 State of the Union address, and less than Netanyahu got the last time he was in town.

Here's the history of standing O's in each Obama State of the Union and Netanyahu's two appearances during Obama's administration. (Sources for other speeches: 2010, 2011, 2011 (Netanyahu), 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.)


But that's unfair to the Israeli prime minister. After all, he only spoke for about 40 minutes today, compared to the hour Obama spent in January. If you look at standing ovations per minute, Netanyahu's effort compares favorably with the president's.


So, who "won" from the speech? Everyone. We all did. But the big winner was math.