Allow me to begin with a confession here. I didn’t watch the State of the Union address last night. As I told Ed Morrissey on his show yesterday, I had better things to occupy my time last night than that dog and pony show, and I was in bed before it was over anyway. I caught the highlights reel this morning, but I’ll leave it to the rest of the Hot Air crew to comment on it.
But I did watch the entire Democratic “response” to the SOTU over coffee today. I put the word response in scare quotes because that surreal performance seemed almost totally unrelated to anything that happened during the address. I found the choice of Stacey Abrams to deliver the remarks a curious one to begin with, particularly since she’s not even an elected Democratic official at this point, but by the time it was over, her selection seemed even more ill-advised. In case you missed it, here’s the video from PBS. It’s not terribly long.
The thing that jumped out at me more than anything else was, as I said, the paucity of comments that in any way could be considered an actual response to the President’s remarks. The speech is only eleven minutes long and she spent the first two minutes and 25 seconds talking about herself, her family, her childhood and her resume. After that, she just began talking about the shutdown (which Trump didn’t mention in the SOTU). And after the shutdown talk, it was back to her resume and her time in the state legislature back home in Georgia.
Abrams did finally manage to get in a few shots at the President and Republicans in general regarding topics from the SOTU, particularly immigration and border security. But then she took a sharp turn into voting rights. Once again, rather than addressing the topic in a broad fashion, she made it about the Georgia gubernatorial election she recently lost. I did a quick search of the SOTU text and I’m pretty sure Trump didn’t mention that at all.
Also, to listen to her talk about the state of the economy and how workers in this country are faring, you’d think the speech dropped out of a time capsule from 2009. She was talking about struggling families and stagnant wages as if the current recovery had never happened. (We’ve just had the first measurable increase in wages in decades and we’re as close to full employment as we’re ever likely to be.) To listen to Abrams, you’d be led to believe that we were still stumbling along under Obama’s economy.
The definition of “response” suggests that the chosen speaker would presumably rebut the remarks made by the President and provide viewers with the Democrats’ views on how to best improve the state of the country. That was almost entirely absent in this speech and it wound up looking like a campaign advertisement for whatever government job Ms. Abrams plans to run for next. What was the point of having her deliver this message?