Regardless of what you thought what was said, the happiest people in the country were the writers of Saturday Night Live, who got their opening sketch this week.
They're already talking to the prop guy about getting a sweat pump and water bottles.
For better or worse, people respond to visuals. The Reagan press office told that to Leslie Stahl. After doing a hard-hitting piece about the Reagan Administration, she thought they were going to yell at her -- instead they said they loved it. She said their reaction was something like, "Your piece was filled with images of the President standing in from of Mount Rushmore, and American flags and smiling children. That's all people will remember, not what you were saying." And her reaction was, "I realized they were right."
SNL joy aside, as for the substance I thought it began well (not that I agreed with what he was saying -- it was pretty typical, empty Rubio stuff that sounds good if you're not paying attention, and gets a "hunh?" if you are -- but it was presented well). But then, I thought after about three minutes it started to go off the rails, got strident, rambled all over the place, and came off to me like a campaign speech, not a State of the Union rebuttal on the GOP vision.
It also had at its core the typical GOP mantra. Best example -- telling the story of his father and mother using Medicare and "I will not change any of the services my mother gets" but for all you others, that's going to change. Which is stand Republican operating procedure these days: I got mine, screw you. (Same thing with, "I used federal aid to get my schooling. Now, let's change it.")
I suspect the Republican base liked the speech, but that really shouldn't be what a State of the Union opposition response should be best used for. A wasted opportunity.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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