Joni “Make ‘em squeal” Ernst is rarely without something to say.
This should be a special edition of the Joni Ernst Watch given the major stage that the Republican Party gave Iowa’s junior senator on Tuesday. She delivered the official response to the President’s State of the Union speech.
Usually given to an up and comer with national political ambitions—was Ted Cruz not available—the response can be a tough nut to crack—ask Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio. You are following a usually gifted orator and doing so in front of cameras as opposed to an audience. Well, how did our favorite proponent of hog castration do?
Other than looking like a character from the movie Westworld, the response was just a trotting out of tired Republican talking points instead of a response to the actual State of the Union speech. It was a mish mash of repeal Obamacare, approve Keystone XL, reduce taxation, eliminate regulation, blah, blah, blah. Outside of Keystone XL the Republican party has not been specific with a single thing in years. Ask what regulations they want removed and the response will be a reversion to talking points about the EPA. Okay, but what rule do you want eliminated? Get ready for crickets.
In total, Joni Ernst’s response was pretty much the same tired speech that any Republican member of Congress would give on Fox News when asked about a plan for policy. Ugh. At least, for Ernst, she was better than Ted Cruz.
The problem that a lot of people are having with her homespun story is that some statements are not ringing true. Like many Republicans, Ernst fails to mention the fact that her family received assistance from the federal government. It’s not a boondoggle when a Republican receives federal dollars, it’s only a problem when a poor person who might vote Democratic receives federal dollars.
I kind of hoped the Steve King sponsored Freedom Summit in Des Moines over the weekend would have provided miles of blog fodder, but it appears that most people with ambitions beyond being a Fox News contributor played things close to the vest. Give it time, folks, the crazy has yet to begin.