Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy III has been selected by Democrats to deliver the rebuttal after Trump’s 1st State of the Union. Learn more about him and his rebuttal plans here.
1. He’s one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party: Joe Kennedy III is the Democratic congressman representing Massachusetts. He was elected into office in 2013, and at age 37, he’s one of the youngest members of Congress (that honor goes to NY Rep. Elise Stefanik, 33). While he’s not exactly a household name yet, after delivering the Democratic rebuttal to the State of the Union, he’ll be recognized nationwide. Kennedy will deliver the address from Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, MA, before an audience of students and members of the surrounding community.
2. Yes, he’s a Kennedy-Kennedy: Joe is a member of one of the United States’ most famous political dynasties. His father is Joseph P. Kennedy II, a former MA representative. His grandfather was former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, making his great-uncles former president John F. Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy. After graduating from Harvard in 2003, Joe joined the Peace Corps. Upon completing his mission and returning to the United States, he and his brother co-chaired their great-uncle Ted’s Senate re-election campaign, marking his first foray into politics.
3. He’s an outspoken Trump critic: Using social media platforms, Kennedy often interacts with his younger constituents and has made it clear he doesn’t agree with Trump’s policies. In fact, his voting record is about 13% in line with the president.
4. He’s highly endorsed by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer: “Congressman Kennedy is a relentless fighter for working Americans,” Democratic Leader Pelosi said. “While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country. His leadership has been vital in educating a next-generation workforce, in creating good-paying manufacturing jobs and in expanding opportunities for the middle class.”
“Whether it’s the repeated attempts to dismantle our health care system, jamming through tax cuts for the largest corporations and the wealthiest or repealing protections for consumers, women and the most vulnerable Americans, President Trump’s first year has been marred by his broken promises to the middle class,” Schumer said. “In their responses to the President’s address, Congressman Kennedy…will do an excellent job in making clear that Democrats are laser-focused on enacting policies to benefit middle class Americans, not special interests or the wealthiest.”
5. He’s bringing a transgender soldier as his guest to the SOTU: Rep. Kennedy invited Staff Sgt. Patricia King, a transgender woman serving in the military, to be his personal guest during the State of the Union as a protest to Trump’s proposed ban on trans soldiers, according to the Boston Globe. Sgt. King was baffled by the president’s reasoning behind trying to ban trans service members:
“There are much easier ways to get surgery covered than enlisting in the military, [facing] the possibility of deployment, and dealing with the stigma of being a transgender service member. Every one of us who raises our right hand is prepared to give everything in the defense of our country.”
HollywoodLifers, do you agree that Rep. Kennedy should do the Democratic rebuttal to the State of the Union, or should the Democrats have picked someone else? Let us know!