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GOP Insiders Give Obama's State of the Union a Solid C GOP Insiders Give Obama's State of the Union a Solid C

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GOP Insiders Give Obama's State of the Union a Solid C

February 14, 2013

What grade would you give President Obama’s State of the Union address?


A: 44%
B: 49%
C: 6%
D: 1%
F: 0%



“Look at the [media] coverage—middle class, middle class, middle class. And he didn’t refight the 2012 elections.”

“He was clearly the commander in chief, laid out his agenda, challenged a ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress politely, and hit a home run with his impassioned plea for his antigun-violence agenda.”

“He kept it real, digestible, but also aspirational for the country. He’s speaking beyond the Beltway, and it’s working.”

“Perfect statement of liberal policy positions in a new era of economic austerity.”

“The American public is with him on virtually every priority he articulated. Forcing the Republicans to resist the will of the American public is a winner.”

“It was pretty average until the end … then, wow. His closing was emotional and may get a vote on gun control.”


“Focused on everything important to the middle class—including responsible deficit reduction. Strong finish.”

“The guy can deliver a speech, but it did not change the polarized dynamic.”

“Ambitious ... but [he] punted on making the case for the sacrifice necessary for some of our toughest needs.”

“The lack of specifics on cutting spending is starting to take its toll.”

“He did a good job of turning up the heat on critical issues, but he played a little loose with some fiscal facts that may haunt him.”

“Left us short again with answers to ‘How are you going to pay for it?’ ”


“I’m not sure it advanced the ball anywhere but on guns, which is good in and of itself.”


What grade would you give President Obama’s State of the Union address?


A: 0%
B: 17%
C: 58%
D: 17%
F: 8%


“He seems to feel that giving a speech is the same as getting things done. It’s not, and that’s why he’s achieved almost nothing on our country’s biggest problems.”


“I give him a B for delivery and a D on honesty (what can be done without adding to budget or endangering the nation), so settle at a C.”

“Well delivered, but no new ground. Still sounding like the Democratic nominee, not the president. Most fun was watching Biden.”

“A laundry list of items he won’t get done.”

“He is still campaigning.”

“Little or no reaching across the aisle or compromise.”

“Helluva shopping list. What’s the point?”

“Boring, boring, boring. A litany of liberal wish lists that will go nowhere. A wasted hour.”

“A for presentational skills; F for intellectual honesty. A parallel-universe performance.”


“Poll-tested pabulum falsely sold as a ‘pivot’ to jobs and the economy.”

“All fluff and no strategy.”


“There are two America’s: Obama’s and [that of] those who disagree with him.”


What grade would you give Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to the State of the Union?

DEMOCRATS (87 votes)

A: 0%
B: 18%
C: 45%
D: 31%
F: 6%


“Aside from ‘water’-gate, it was a solid response.”

“He helped erase the image of Mitt [Romney] as the face of the GOP.”

“Rubio did a good job, but he had to share the limelight with [Sen.] Rand Paul. A party divided cannot stand.”


“While people are distracted with #gulpgate, the real story is that he had nothing to say except repeating the ideology that lost them the last two elections.”

“Same old, same old with a gleaming smile and a dry throat.”

“Didn’t we just vote ‘no’ to most of that?”

“With that performance, I can safely say he will make the high school debate team.”

“The water-bottle grab was notable not because he needed water—which is normal and no big deal—but because he looked desperate for something other than water.”


“He was sweating like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, and then that drink of water was classic. As for substance, it was far too partisan and strident.”

“Putting a Spanish surname on a Romney speech (with the exception of immigration) doesn’t fool anyone.”

“Whiny and defensive from the get-go.”

“Was that Clint Eastwood’s water bottle?”


“Two words: Bobby Jindal.”


What grade would you give Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to the State of the Union?

REPUBLICANS (78 votes)

A: 21%
B: 51%
C: 21%
D: 8%
F: 0%


“The new face for the Republican Party delivered the kind of reasoned and passionate response for which we are all looking. Democrats should be very worried.”

“The Republican nominee for president appeared last night.”

“The new leader.”


“Absent the water thing, he is our most eloquent spokesman.”

“Eloquence without slickness. He is a real person, and he can’t be stereotyped like a ‘typical Republican.’ ”

“The thirst heard round the political world.”

“The key now is for other veteran GOP lawmakers to take up what he set out and begin parroting those Rubio themes.”

“If Bobby Jindal’s performance was the floor, Rubio’s ranks near the top.”

“Nicely done; the ‘water incident’ is good live TV, and he handled it well with self-deprecating humor.”

“If a member of the white senior set had given same speech, it would be judged a disaster.”


“A pretty good opportunity squandered. He looks different, but the GOP was playing the same exact tune. No new ideas.”

“The advantage Marco has is that he knows what he believes and why he believes it; that stands in stark contrast to many in our party who too often try to cater to the latest whims of a fickle electorate.”

“I wanted to be thrilled, but I just wasn’t.”


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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