Newly-elected Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), the first female veteran and first female Iowan in the Senate, was tapped last week to deliver the GOP’s official response to the president’s State of the Union Address. By most accounts, her speech set the tone for a bright future.
Immediately following the response, veteran political columnist George Will remarked, “I was in my annual rant about the staleness of the state of the union spectacle, which is in a way degrading to all participants. I think tonight a semi-star was born, I think Senator Ernst from Iowa helped put a fresh face on the Republican Party. I think the president gave a curious speech saying we’re all going to get along and I’m going to veto any important thing you send to me.”
Ernst beamed in her remarks:
“Americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. t’s a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.”
At only 44, Ernst is already a rising star among the Republican congressional caucus after repeatedly defying the odds. Raised on a small pig farm in Iowa, Ernst earned national attention with her TV ad in the Republican primary that declared of the ‘big spenders’ in Washington, “Let’s make them squeal.”
After receiving the Republican nomination, Ernst went on to battle some of the toughest and well-funded Democrat opposition among the dozen or so Senate toss-up states. Despite that opposition and in the face of many polls predicting a loss, she defeated Rep. Bruce Brayley in the November midterms by more than ten points.
Promising new action under Republican leadership, Ernst declared, “We plan to make Washington focus on your concerns again. We heard the message you sent in November, loud and clear.”