Weather Alerts

Iowa Rookie Gets Set for the Speech of Her Life

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is about to add another historical first to her resume when she delivers her party’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.

Ernst already made history by becoming Iowa’s first female elected to Congress. Tuesday night, with just two weeks on the job, she will become the newest member of the senate to give her party’s high-profile response.

Her office wouldn’t talk about how she is preparing for the event. But it did release an emailed statement from the senator:

“I am truly honored to deliver the Republican address.  It’s a long way from Red Oak, Iowa, to Washington, D.C. But now that I am here, I am excited to get to work in order to craft and implement real solutions as we chart a new path forward for our great nation. During this Congress, we must help grow a vibrant economy, see to it that our veterans receive promised quality care and that our military has the tools to defend our nation’s security, and ensure the federal government begins to run more effectively and efficiently.”

Her office would also not talk about what she would say. But a person with knowledge of the speech said she would talk about what the new Congress should do to focus on families back at home and their concerns. Ernst is also expected to discuss her military background as a lt. colonel in the Iowa National Guard, while stressing the importance of taking care of the military both abroad and at home.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds is close friend of Ernst and said she had no worries Ernst sudden thrust into the national spotlight is too much, too fast. Reynolds said, “I have complete confidence in her. Anybody who can lead 150 military men and women on the ground in Iraq, transporting supplies back and forth and bringing 150 men and women back home safely, I think she can do the response and will be just great in doing it.”

Reynolds and Governor Terry Branstad plan to watch Ernst’s speech while they host a reception at Terrace Hill with state lawmakers and their spouses.

The New York Daily News put together clips from other leaders’ responses in the past that have been criticized for their lack or effectiveness and show the risk the high-profile speaking event can have.


  • Matthew

    Let me start by saying I’m not affiliated with either political party and think we need a third party perspective. Now that the GOP gained control of the House and Senate I expect all problems within the government and economy to get better, quickly. Time to act, not talk, GOP!!! You spent too many years criticizing the democrats and said you had all the answers so now its time to apply them!! Waiting…

  • John Smith

    I wonder if she will be carrying her concealed weapon during her speech. You know, in case someone tries to take her freedoms away.

  • John

    she will not disappoint to disappoint. She will no doubt attack via immigration, Obamacare, economy, and constitution. Compared to Bush: immigration is 10 times lower; millions have coverage compared to a few inconvenienced by insurance company manipulation/gop inaction to fix the ACA; from the Clinton surplus to the 1.7trillion deficit of Bush in 2008 we are now in a 4B deficit under Obama; Bush not only ignored the constitution, he circumvented it with the patriot act and his WMD fallacies…
    Come on Ernst make them squeal with facts not rhetoric

    • an independent thinker

      Joni is very good at putting on an act. This tea party bag now calls herself an independent thinker when there’s a long line of contributors waiting for their payback.

  • joe

    Nothing is going to change, the corporations want tax breaks, the rich want the middle class to pay for everything while the rich reap the profits, Wall Street and the banks will have no limits once again. Another year and nothing changes.

  • John Smith

    Well, she certainly hit all the TeaBagger talking points, one after the other. I can’t help but think the Kochs are congratulating themselves on their wise investment.

Comments are closed.