Democrats Need Someone to Give a State of the Union Response, and That’s a Problem Democrats Need Someone to Give a State of the Union Response, and That’s a Problem – NTK Network

Democrats Need Someone to Give a State of the Union Response, and That’s a Problem

There are no good options for Democrats seeking a strong response to President Trump’s State of the Union on Jan. 30.

By NTK Staff | 01.12.2018 @11:30am
Democrats Need Someone to Give a State of the Union Response, and That’s a Problem

Since Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat to Donald Trump, the Democratic Party has been essentially leaderless. That leadership void will become apparent following President Trump’s first State of the Union address.

Democrats, as the opposition party always does, will present a “response” that will be carried by all of the national TV networks. But picking a suitable Democrat to deliver that response has become quite challenging.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will ultimately choose the responder and the message that that choice sends:

They may decide to feature the message Democrats will take to voters in November’s midterm elections. They might opt to highlight a specific issue on which they contrast with Trump and the Republican Congress. Or they could pick a rising star to thrust into the spotlight, someone who conveys a new and different tone for a party that lacks a mega-star.

Top Democrats speculate, according to The Hill, that party leaders will avoid a potential 2020 rival to Trump for fear of upsetting the other would-be candidates. Instead, they say, leaders might select a Democrat who’s won elected office in the Trump era:

Among the first group, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam (D) stand out. Northam won his race in November by a surprisingly large margin, while Jones became the first Democrat in a generation to win a Senate seat in Alabama. Some suggested the two newcomers give the Democratic response side by side.

Others speculate a representative of the #MeToo movement could be the top choice:

In the second group, several party strategists mentioned potential 2020 candidates like Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Others pointed to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), who is not seen as a possible 2020 contender. And a surprising number pointed to Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), who represents a more rural district Trump narrowly carried last year.

While still others think an outside-the-box pick might do the trick:

Finally, those Democrats hungry for an outside-the-Beltway choice named governors like Colorado’s John Hickenlooper (D) and Montana’s Steve Bullock (D), big-city mayors like Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans or Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, and even Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who would be the first member of the millennial generation to deliver a response. Some suggested someone who is not in politics at all, like a teacher or a DREAMer.

Whomever Democrats select, that individual will have a tough task. The State of the Union response is notoriously fraught with impossibly high expectations and dozens of examples of individuals who did not live up to the challenge.

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