Following the re-opening of the government, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) invited President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union address on February 5. On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial nominee, will deliver the Democratic response to the address in English and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will give the response in Spanish.
“At a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common purpose, I am honored to be delivering the Democratic State of the Union response,” Abrams said in a statement. “I plan to deliver a vision for prosperity and equality, where everyone in our nation has a voice and where each of those voices is heard.”
“I’m looking forward to addressing my fellow Americans on a day when truth, candor and unity should be the order of the day,” Becerra said in a statement. “There is enough good going on in this country that we don’t need to hide behind misrepresentations to describe the State of our Union. Americans work hard, we remain the hub of innovation, and we’ll fight to defend our liberties and the rule of law. The America I know is ready to fight to keep its healthcare, to root out public corruption, and treat everyone in our nation with respect. Democrats are ready to build a stronger Union.”
Schumer also called Abrams a “present and future leader in this country” which comes amid reports that he is recruiting her to run for the Senate in 2020. The State of the Union response offers an opportunity for a politician to raise their national profile, but is also comes with a high amount of attention and little mistakes (such as Senator Marco Rubio’s awkward drinking of water) can overshadow their actual speech.