Republican leaders of the U.S. House and Senate announced today that newly-elected Senator Joni Ernst will deliver the televised response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on January 20. Some liberals are already laughing, but from where I’m sitting, she’s a perfect choice. One thing we learned about Ernst last year: she knows how to read from a prepared text. She’ll stick to her message, and she won’t have to answer any unscripted questions about that message:
“Our folks back home sent us to Washington D.C., with a clear mission. And that mission is to get to work. That mission is to craft and implement good policies and good solutions,” Ernst said. “We want to ensure that the America we are building leaves a stronger economy and more opportunity for our children and our grandchildren.”
When a reporter tried to follow up with Ernst after the announcement, Boehner jokingly batted the question away.
“No,” Boehner said to laughter from the press corps.
Ernst provided material for a lot of late-night television jokes last year with her “Squeal” ad, and I expect GOP speechwriters to sneak in some farm references next Tuesday. If the big bad liberal media are seen to make fun of the “ordinary farm girl,” they will only generate more sympathy for Ernst among Iowans. Anyway, Senator Marco Rubio set the bar low with his fumbling, water bottle-grabbing performance after Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address. Surely Ernst can do a lot better than that.
Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.
P.S. – Jon Neiderbach asked today, “Can you name any Iowa politician who rose so high so fast?” I sure can’t think of any. Only four and a half years ago, Ernst was hardly known outside Montgomery County. In fact, if Terry Branstad hadn’t picked the little-known Kim Reynolds to be his running mate in 2010, Ernst would still be the Montgomery County auditor. She only ran for the Iowa Senate because Reynolds resigned the seat after being elected lieutenant governor.