Kudos to Iowa Senator Jodi Ernst’s selection to deliver the party’s response in the 2015 State of the Union (SOTU) address. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proclamation that she was the perfect person for the task is correct. Iowa is a historic battleground state the GOP hopes to capture in 2016. Ernst is the state’s first female senator and the first female veteran to serve in office.
Still, the history of people delivering rebuttals to a SOTU is not good. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle gave the rebuttal to George W. Bush. He was later voted out of office as an obstructionist. In recent history, ten GOP governors and senators have delivered the party’s response to the president. Only Paul Ryan has seen his political fortunes improve as a result. So history is not on Ernst’s side.