In browsing my news feed this morning I saw the possibility Trump might deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union speech this year. My initial response was (cleaning up my language) “Really? That’s actually being considered? You’ve got to be joking. What the hell?” Given the history of that “official response” and how more often than not it gets fumbled that image shown in the title picture immediately came to mind. Only instead of a baseball it’s like fielding a live grenade. Let’s be clear upfront. This is far from a done deal, and there are indications (at least at this time) it’s unlikely the prospect is being considered.  But it IS being talked about now, so let’s take a look at this.

On March 7 President Biden will deliver the annual State of the Union speech to Congress and the nation (and world). It’s a huge event, full of pomp & circumstance and even pageantry. Delivered from the Speaker’s podium of the House of Representative, with the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader sitting behind a President and a House Chamber packed with all the Representatives and Senators, as well as many Cabinet members, anyone from SCOTUS who wants to attend, the Joint Chiefs and a gallery packed with guests including special ones sitting with the First Lady it’s quite the show. The speech itself typically runs an hour or more and sometimes a lot more than an hour. It truly is quite the spectacle.

The “Official Response” from the Party not in the WH? Not so much.

It’s generally considered a next to impossible task to give a response to the SOTU that comes anywhere close to matching the energy, the spectacle of a President standing there in the House with all those people. Just surviving with one’s dignity intact has proven quite the challenge. Sometimes the task is called things like “The place where political futures/careers go to die.” And in fact that’s happened to more than a handful of people. There have been some memorable flops, particularly with “rising stars.” Bobby Jindal. Marco Rubio. I’m sure you can think of other examples.

For most, as I said just not getting made fun of for days afterwards (if not for whatever is left of their career) is considered a success. I like to think of it as being a pilot/aviator in the armed forces and annual flight physicals. (Or any visit to a doctor/flight surgeon) The best you can do is hold your own. To keep your wings after the doc is done and writes it up. The tiniest things can ruin it all. As author Tom Wolfe put it in The Right Stuff, “It can blow at any seam.”

Many a politician gets offered the gig and finds a way to gracefully avoid the whole thing. I suppose that could be called political cowardice but it’s easy to see why any seasoned politico would have strong reservations. Some welcome the challenge and if they can’t match the real thing, the actual SOTU at least come off looking credible but without all the energy of the crowd, the cameras panning around the room for reactions and such it’s damned tough. It’s almost always just the person giving the response and an unblinking camera. I’m kind of surprised Joe Kennedy III is the only one who stood on small stage, dressed casually and gave the response surrounded by a small crowd town-hall style. It seemed to have launched a promising career. (Of course he’d later blow it by unsuccessfully challenging his sitting Senator in a primary. Perhaps giving the response “got” him after all by over-inflating his ego)

But here we are. As this article by NBC News indicates some have said the idea of Trump giving the “official” response has been discussed. In fact, according to the article:

Two of the sources said that Trump himself has discussed it, but both said he is leaning against the high-profile gig.

The decision on who will deliver the response rests with Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

A source familiar with the planning of the State of the Union address said there has been no outreach by the Trump campaign to those planning the GOP rebuttal.
Johnson and McConnell apparently aren’t commenting, at least on the record. And some who have, at least off the record don’t think it’s a good idea including someone from the Trump campaign but some GOP lawmakers also don’t think it would be wise. However, there are those who think it would be a great thing for Trump to do and one has indeed gone on record as saying so. Care to guess who? Okay, if you don’t want to read the linked article I’ll make it easy for you:

But at least one Trump ally on Capitol Hill said she would love to see Trump deliver the GOP response.

“Of course President Trump should do it,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., told NBC News on Thursday, though she added that she hasn’t heard about any such plans.

Figures. Margie is campaigning for VP so it makes sense she’d be for this. It will be interesting to see how many other Veep wannabes come down on this. I’ll get to the question of whether Trump will actually go for it or not in a minute, but it’s easy to see him using “Are they talking about how great I’d be, and how I’d DESTROY Biden’s big moment if I did it?” as a litmus test?  That exactly how what’s left of Trump’s mind works. For now the only member of Team Trump in a position of for lack of a better word credibility to go on the record is senior advisor Jason Miller who says there’s no substance to this “chatter.”

Admittedly it took me a second to think “that’s not a denial!”  Which leads me to the real question. Is Trump seriously considering this? Who the hell knows what goes on in that head of his but I believe he loves the idea. He’s going to be in DC anyway for a big fundraiser with a bunch of GOP lawmakers the night before. And it’s no stretch to imagine him LOVING the idea of sh*tting all over Biden’s big moment.  He is, in his mind at least the “Great and Mighty Trump” who has no equal. He also knows he sucks up media oxygen, and if he’s slated to give the official response talking heads will spend more time before the speech talking about HIM than what Biden plans to say.

From where I sit that alone is more than enough to cause Trump to tell the “M&M boys”, Mike and Mitch I’m doing it. Set it up. Here’s where it could get both really weird and create a true circus. As Speaker Johnson is in control of the physical grounds of the Capitol. If he wants to designate a room, one of the larger meeting rooms such as where GOPer Representatives or Representative caucus he can have it set up for Trump. Or the dining room. Somewhere large enough to have a good sized crowd. Come to think of it just having cameras of GOPers fighting to get inside would be quite the sh*tshow.

Imagine the official response to the SOTU turning into a sort of MAGA rally. With a friendly crowd, even if not screaming MAGA goobers I can easily see any carefully made plans going by the wayside. Trump will go “off prompter” and wind up ranting. That’s why aids will try to talk him out of it. However this is Trump we’re talking about and as far as he’s concerned he knows more than anyone about anything. Personally I think he’s dying to do it, especially now after the week he’s had.

Well, we will see. I’ve been thinking a lot about the SOTU lately and now there’s this new element to factor in. As of now the line is “No, he’s not going to do it” but the fact it’s even being talked about is significant. So is the fact Trump has apparently at least talked it over with senior aids. Will be be able to resist? I think he won’t be able to restrain himself. I’m curious as to what anyone who read this thinks.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. My first response was -so much for the best and brightest of them. My hubby added “and the stinkiest.” I’m sure his ego is all about doing this. Not sure what his staffers will think.

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  2. I LOVE it! He absolutely would have no self discipline, he’d be out there for all America and the world to see going on a rampant whinefest about how he’s sooo hard done by for being brought to account for his crimes and misdemeanors. It could actually bring some of his rabid cult back to reality. Is that too much to hope for?

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  3. I’m sure he’d cover his classics: I have a beautiful business…a perfect business…people come up to me all the time with tears in their eyes, asking why is Biden doing this? I tell them he stole the election with millions of bogus votes by the illegals crossing the border with backpacks full of fentanyl! Biden’s communist judges have dragged me into court, not allowing me to speak or have a defense when I’ve done NOTHING WRONG!!! That woman who claimed I did something wrong wasn’t even my type and I never met her! The Marxist democrats have gone after me knowing I am the greatest president ever! Lincoln messed up the Civil War…we should have negotiated. I have the best skills the perfect ability to talk with rusher, chinya, and my friend, my perfect friend in N Korea. Now the communist judge is trying to take my money and give it to the communists, Marxists, and socialists who traffic children and approve abortions after 9 months!!! I’m the hand of God, and the only one who can save the world. People come up with tears in their eyes asking if I’m the messiah when it’s clear I am! I’m the next president and I won’t allow another one when I move back into the white house. Its named the WHITE house for a reason, so we won’t allow people from these shithole countries to ever be there again. Let’s defeat Obama in November! Thank you and God bless me!

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  4. Surely we have not forgotten last year’s nasty response by Sarah Huckabee Sanders!! Sitting there in what looked like a hotel bathrobe, Sanders didn’t respond at all to Biden’s energetic give-and-take with the haters in the joint session! She spewed lies and ugliness and “American carnage!” According to what she predicted, we should all be dead by now because Biden is just pure evil spawned by Satan himself!! Sorry to disappoint you, Sarah!! ✊✊

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