Live-Blogging The GOP Response

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 20 2015 @ 10:27pm

10.36 pm. I thought Senator Ernst gave about as strong a response as I have seen in years in terms of style and affect. Way better than Jindal or the usual suspects. Great pick for the GOP, but inevitably overwhelmed by the rhetorical mastery of what preceded her. But I see now why Iowans voted for her. She has great and broad appeal. And she’s a symbolic solution to the image of a party full of so many very wealthy white men, with whom many voters don’t identify with.

10.30 pm. She’s in favor of new trade deals that Obama backs as well. Easier tax filing and fewer loopholes: I’m for that. But not if it isn’t at least deficit neutral. Then, in stark contrast with Obama, an endorsement of the validity of fear vis-à-vis Jihadist terrorism. But no details on how to actually tackle terrorism. I note no mention of unemployment or economic growth or Putin. I als note no mention of immigration whatever, despite fighting the last campaign primarily on that issue.

10.28 pm. “Growing up, I had only one pair of shoes.” The appeal to a struggling middle class is now on. She’s for new solutions over an old mindset. And the policy goods? The Keystone Pipeline! That’s really all you’ve got?

10.25 pm. She has a great smile, although it doesn’t actually seem to end. And the beginning was a grace-note to the airing of alternative ideas.