The Republican Party won't be the only group trying to contrast its message with President Obama's State of the Union address tonight: The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street want their say, too. The distinct movements of far-right, far-left and establishment right each have their own ways to pummel (or in some cases: nudge) Obama and bring publicity to themselves. Here's how they'll do it:
The Republican Party
Star player: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels
Fanfare: Since, Daniels' status as Obama-critic-for-the-day was announced last week, his star has skyrocketed, reigniting calls for him to run for president from the likes of The Weekly Standard's Bill Kirstol and others.
Logistics: The Midwest Republican will deliver his rebuttal immediately following the State of the Union Address and it will be broadcast on all the major networks. You can listen to his remarks on C-SPAN here.
Primary thrust: Fiscal responsibility! Or at least that's what many suspect he'll focus on. When he was announced as the responder, The Washington Post described him as "one of the GOP's leading voices on debt and fiscal responsibility." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called him “an eloquent spokesman for limited government” who “knows that President Obama’s three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, and he knows that Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined and secure.” In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner added that he was a "a fierce advocate for smaller, less costly and more accountable government” and said that he “has the record to prove it.” Expect more of that tonight.
The Tea Party
Star player: Dropout GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain
Fanfare: The Tea Party Express, touted as the largest tea party political action committee, celebrated its appointment of Cain as its mouthpiece earlier today in a press release. "Americans are tired of the big talk, empty promises, and blatant arrogance coming out of Washington. That is why Tea Party Express decided to go outside the beltway this year and have Herman Cain deliver the Tea Party response."
Occupy Wall Street
Star player: The 99 percent? Not much is known about who will speak for the left-wing movement or if it will consist of one giant human microphone, but a response to President Obama's address is expected tonight.
Fanfare: N/A. OWS is keeping mum about the movement. A speech is reportedly circulating, but the movement's publicist has embargoed it.
Logistics: Unknown. An organizer of Occupy DC tells us they did not coordinate with Occupy Wall Street on the rebuttal so it's not clear how organized the response will be or if it can be credibly deemed "official." Still, a livestream of Occupy reactions to President Obama's speech will be streamed on user OakFoSho's Ustream channel, according to an Occupy DC organizer.
Primary thrust: The Awl's Choire Sicha has obtained the speech and it sounds like quite the (underwhelming) rant:
The language of the speech is bombastic yet vague, unspecific and sort of... narcissistic? Lots of rambling about how politics is bought and paid for, yadda yadda. (I mean, yes, that's true! But it's just atmospherics; why not name some names then?) About half of its claims are reminiscent of the Tea Party. (To be fair, Occupy and the Tea Party share about a 50% base common interest! Which is good and fascinating!) What's worse about the planned speech is: it's vaguely poetic without at all being poetry.