Forget the Address, let's get to the rebuttals
The Kansas City Star
Oh, the suspense.
Not about Barack Obama and his State of the Union speech. The president is a familiar face. A few weeks into his second term and already a lame duck. While you’ll see some earnest analysis about the significance of his speech as far as setting a tone, the intrigue is all about The Rebuttal.
Or should I say, The Rebuttals.
Americans by and large may be hoping for an extended breather from political campaigns, but be assured that the 2016 election is foremost on the minds of Washington’s establishment and media. And what better platform to start setting the table, so to speak, than The Rebuttal?
The GOP has tapped a rising star, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, to deliver the official rebuttal. The party is hoping that Rubio, the 41-year-old son of Cuban immigrants, can present a kinder, more welcoming face to immigrants and young voters. He’ll talk about helping middle-class families through limited government, according to reports.
But lest anyone think the Republican Party has actually gotten its act together, there is the competing tea party rebuttal. This one will be delivered by U.S. Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky. The horse race audience is breathlessly forecasting this as a preliminary round to the 2016 primaries.
So much for unity. The Democratic Party has been much criticized over the years, but give it this much: It never had a renegade rebuttal. This is the third year in a row a tea party figure has felt compelled to break ranks with a separate event.
And then of course there is the Ted Nugent spectacle. The right-wing rocker will be at the address at the invitation of U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, a Republican from Texas. They are a pair. Stockman wants to impeach Obama and Nugent earned himself a visit from the Secret Service after he said during the campaign that he’d end up “dead or in jail” if the president was re-elected.
Stockman’s invitation of Nugent was classless and despicable, but he’s right proud of it, and promises that Nugent will have “plenty to say” after the Address.
So many rebuttals. So little time.