There is a danger in having to write a response to the State of the Union address before you’ve heard the speech you’re responding to.
Senator Marco Rubio discovered that last night.
His speech was not really a RE-sponse. It’s a PRE-sponse.
You could tell, because he said stuff like, “Instead of playing politics with Medicare, when is the president going to offer his detailed plan to save it? Tonight would have been a good time to do it.”
But wait – the President just finished agreeing with you!
“On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of healthcare savings by the beginning of the next decade, as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson Bowles commision,” Obama said during the State of the Union.
The Simpson Bowles report is the budget deal considered the holy grail by many Republicans including Lindsey Graham.
And then Obama said, “We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for medicare because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital. It should be based on the quality of care our seniors receive.”
For a guy who has no plan, that sounds like a pretty serious plan.
So – may I offer a suggestion?
If you have to write your response before the speech you’re responding to, you should also be allowed to deliver it before the speech you’re responding to. Like during those tedious 15 minutes when everybody is meandering around – and the anchors are yammering about Michelle’s arms – I would much rather have watched Senator Rubio’s pre-sponse.
Then, when it turned out the President actually agreed with many of his points, the Senator could have said see? I changed his mind.