A face in the crowd

The response to presidential addresses such as President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress last night is inherently difficult, if not impossible. That may explain why the Democrats turned to former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear to deliver the Democratic response in a diner surrounded by ordinary Kentucky citizens.

Governor Beshear’s response recalled Andy Griffith doing his cracker barrel/man of the people shtick as “Lonesome” Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd (though I have to concede that Rhodes never used the word “eviscerate”). Quotable quote: “I’m a proud Democrat, but first and foremost I’m a proud Republican….” Someone from PricewaterhouseCoopers must have loaded the teleprompter.

Governor Beshear reviewed the good times in Kentucky during his time in office. Despite the good times he claimed, Governor Beshear was succeeded in office by Republican Matt Bevin. Governor Bevin anticipated Beshear’s response with critical comments quoted here.

As Jonathan Martin notes in the New York Times, Obamacare was front and center in Beshear’s response to Trump. Speaking of Andy Griffith, I also recall Griffith’s testimonial to the promise of Obamacare back in 2010 (video below). It’s a shame that the Democrats didn’t think to haul it out in lieu of Beshear last night. Taxpayers reportedly paid $700,000 to run that ad. We didn’t get our money’s worth then, but this says it all now.


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