GOP Responses to Obama’s SOTU’s

PreScript: Please, don’t let your political bias impact whether you read this.

In this blog, I will discuss and attempt to break apart and compare two Republican Resposnes to Obama’s first State of the Union for each term (2010 and 2014).  Each was given to spur Republican feelings among the people, contrary to the Democratic feelings Obama was hopeful to evoke.  Let’s start with the differences.

# of Words/Topic 2010: Bob McDonnell 2014: Cathy McMorris
Introduction 98 242
Economy 374 1053
Health Care 119 0
Energy 133 0
Education 90 0
Foreign Policy (War(s)) 167 0
Conclusion 340 195

Now we can discuss these findings.  The showing that Cathy McMorris says nothing in response to Obama about Health Care, Energy, Education, or Foreign Policy is a little misleading.  I took each paragraph and categorized it.  So there were definitely words and illusions to these topics, just not entire paragraphs with this purpose (and, this is still all up to my interpretation).  Anyway, by looking at this chart, we can see that Bob McDonnell was more well-versed in his speech; he clearly stated the president’s proposals and told how the Republican Party viewed these.

McDonnell, in 2010, explained that Obama’s  stress on the need for health care for all Americans is agreed upon and where the difference lies in the “how to solve it.”  He clearly stated the president’s newly proposed plan for the beginnings of the Affordable Health Care Act and Obama Care.  He told how these just weren’t the ways his party would handle this crisis.  He explained the across-the-isle agreement that our economy was in a rut and gave reasons why President Obama’s plan simply wasn’t working.  In my opinion, Bob McDonnell was very clear in what he set out to do: inform America what the president was doing and how the Republican Party felt about it, giving specific reasons and evidence.

Just a few days ago, Cathy McMorris responded to President Obama.  She was definitely picked to do this because of the stress on women in Obama’s speech.  This undoubtedly was to relate to the women who just heard Obama say that they get $0.77 to the $1 for equal work that a man might do.  Many could be saying to themselves (and rightfully so), “Yes, Obama! You’re right! We shouldn’t live in the age of mad men!”  These women would thus agree with the president on his policies and: Boom! there goes a bunch of Republicans.  Needless to say, McMorris’ presenting the GOP Response was to win back these women on the edge.  I believe she completed this goal.  She was very relateable in her speech, talking about her son with Down Syndrome, and relating her past “working in a McDonald’s Drive-Thru” to her becoming successful through hard work and dedication. This would appeal especially to women in the middle class.  She didn’t, however, lay out Republican views on many issues as another goal of the response seems to be.  She just kept uplifting America with positive thoughts about the future.  This, in a strange way, may have done what the Republican party was hoping for.





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