The Five Essentials to a State of the Union Response

Pandering. Check. Fear-mongering. Check.

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After the President finishes his address to the nation, the opposition party — and more recently the Tea Party — gives a rebuttal. The result is almost always less-than-stirring.

Gerald Ford gave the first State of the Union response when he was the house minority leader in 1966.  Since then, the response has become a ripe occasion for the political gaffe. Memorable responses include Michele Bachmann’s inability to look at the camera and Marco Rubio’s desperate need for a bottle of water. Most, however, go directly to the dustbin of history.