I Think Voldemort Has Put a Curse on SOTU Responses

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Last week I wrote that everyone fails when it comes to delivering a reply to the State of the Union address. “I would run, not walk, if party leaders asked me to give the SOTU response,” I said. “My kid has a piano recital that night. It’s my anniversary. Anything. I think you’d have to be nuts to agree to do this.”

Nonetheless, it never occurred to me that Marco Rubio would take a big swig of water right in the middle of his response. That’s a failure mode that I never anticipated. Still, the rule remains unbroken: don’t give a SOTU response. Period. It’s only slightly less dangerous than agreeing to be the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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