Guy beat me to the punch in the Greenroom but it’s always frontpage-worthy when someone gets the most thankless job in Washington. Has there ever been a memorable SOTU rebuttal? The only two I can remember over the past five years were Bobby Jindal’s, which was only noteworthy because his delivery was universally panned, and Rubio’s, which featured the water sip that launched a thousand dumb Internet memes. In fact, looking back over the list of Republicans who’ve given the rebuttal since O took office, every one of them has seen his fortunes decline afterward. 2009 was Jindal, whose approval rating in Louisiana has dropped and who’s gone from likely future nominee to second-tier candidate. 2010 was Bob McDonnell, about whom let us say no more. 2011 was Paul Ryan, who ended up on the ticket, lost, and is now derided by righties for striking a weak budget deal with Democrats and agreeing to cut military benefits. 2012 was Mitch Daniels, then in his final year as governor of Indiana, now out of office and his political career seemingly over despite heavy overtures from the GOP establishment to run for president. And 2013 was Rubio, who was just then embarking on his big amnesty experiment in the Senate. A year later, with the Gang of Eight bill going nowhere, he has yet to be forgiven for it by righty activists and is in single digits in primary polls after having led in several last year. Note to Cathy McMorris-Rogers: Good luck.
Seriously, though, as the highest-ranking Republican woman in either chamber with a compelling bio to boot, she’s a natural choice to counter the Democrats’ “war on women” nonsense. I’m a little surprised they didn’t ask a woman with a bigger name, though. Nikki Haley? Susana Martinez? It’s a truism these days that the real energy in the GOP these days is coming from its governors. Why ask a House member?
If you’re not interested in the official GOP rebuttal, no worries. There’s plenty more on the menu.