TOP STORY: The State of the Union address is tomorrow and political analysts are preparing for the address. The preparation includes figuring out what the President will say, how he will say it, how it will be received, and the granddaddy, how it will affect the 2014 midterm elections. CNN’s Jake Tapper even has a program tomorrow night to discuss the effects on 2014 (more on that in Fourth Estate). However, the Huffington Post is seemingly attempting to kill the joy of political junkies with its headline “OVER IT: Polls, History Agree: Speech Won’t Change Anything.” Although many analysts have realized this, the State of the Union remains one of the most effective and efficient ways for the President to lay out his agenda to both the Congress and the greater nation.
THE PLUG: I will be covering the State of the Union for TKNN tomorrow with my preview getting posted before the President begins at nine. This Saturday, I will also have a program on the 2014 midterm elections.
RESPONSES: There will be three (three!) responses to the State of the Union this year:
Standard Opposition Party: This year, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) will deliver the response. Rogers currently serves as the House Republican Conference Chair and is the fourth-highest ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.
Tea Party: For the fourth year in a row, there will be a separate response delivered by a Tea Party politician. In previous years, it has been Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. This year, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will deliver the address. Sen. Lee is an ally of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the two partnered up in the Defund Obamacare movement.
Rand Paul: Last year, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivered the Tea Party response. Apparently he enjoyed it because this year he has his own, Rand Paul response. Surprisingly, the Senator from Kentucky will deliver the response.
CNN’s dedicated State of the Union address coverage begins at 7 P.M. EST tomorrow. The coverage, in keeping with 2012’s election coverage, will originate from Washington, D.C. New Day anchor Chris Cuomo will be at the Capitol tomorrow and will co-anchor his show from there. The main three anchors will be Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, and Anderson Cooper. Candy Crowley, Dana Bash, Gloria Berger, and Suzanne Malveaux will contribute, as well. Jim Scuttio will also report from Iran.
On Fox News, Bret Baier will take over from Bill O’Reilly at 8:55 for coverage. White House Correspondent Ed Henry will join Baier for coverage. Baier will anchor until 11 P.M., at which point Megyn Kelly will continue coverage with a live edition of The Kelly File.
MSNBC is going for a combination of wonk and firebrand tomorrow night with Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews hosting coverage at 9 P.M. They will be joined by Chris Hayes, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, and Steve Schmidt for commentary. Matthews will also host a hour of live coverage from midnight to 1 A.M.
On ABC, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will anchor the network’s coverage in Washington, D.C. They will be joined by Jonathon Karl and Martha Raddatz, among others.
NBC News has Brian Williams anchoring coverage. Meet the Press anchor David Gregory, Chuck Todd, and Andrea Mitchell will also contribute to the network’s coverage.
CBS News will have Scott Pelley anchoring coverage tomorrow night. Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer, Norah O’Donnell, and Major Garrett will also appear on the coverage.
PBS NewsHour anchors Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill will lead the network’s coverage.
Finally, Fox network will have Shepard Smith leading the coverage with Fox News Sunday anchor Mike Wallace contributing his analysis.
COCAINE CONGRESSMEN: Rep. Trey Radel is no longer a congressman. He announced his resignation earlier today and it was effective at 6:30 P.M.
ROUNDING THE CORNER: Thanks for reading Political Punch-Out today. Send any comments, questions, tips, or feedback to PunchOut@TKNN.info. I hope you join TKNN tomorrow for our coverage of the State of the Union address.