Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) has been tapped to deliver the GOP's response to Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Daniels, a second term governor and fiscal policy whiz encouraged last year -- and even now -- to run for president, will be tasked with rebutting the president's primary message on jobs and the economy.
Daniels stands in a somewhat distinguished position to hammer on certain Republican themes that have emerged over the past year. His state is currently engaged in a battle over right-to-work legislation, which would bar unions from automatically collecting dues from workers' paychecks at private companies. AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor union, announced on Monday that it would be running a television ad across the Hoosier State in anticipation of his speech, slamming him for supporting this proposal.
As Obama gears up for his reelection campaign, however, Republicans have been quick to announce that they'll pound upon the president for more than just his words on jobs and the economy.
In an op-ed in Politico on Tuesday, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus previewed another Republican line of attack on Obama: an effort to depict the president's words as politically motivated for the sole purpose of helping him secure another term.
As usual, Tuesday's speech will be a campaign speech. It will be well-delivered, long on rhetoric -- and short on specifics. While the catchphrases may be new, one thing remains the same: It will be politically self-serving.
As usual, Obama will also make promises he won't keep. "Winning the future," was 2011's State of the Union slogan. After a year of record debt, a credit downgrade, high unemployment and political gridlock, we've certainly lost much more than we've won.
"Winning the election" will likely be this year's unspoken theme. The president will present his case for a second term, even as the country suffers the consequences of his first. Yet a president's record, not his words, should be what justifies reelection.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave a similarly harsh prediction earlier this week, saying that if the president didn't change his tone from previous addresses, his speech on Tuesday could end up being "pathetic."
The RNC has also gone on the air with a new ad set to be broadcast in Washington D.C., Virginia, Michigan and North Carolina markets. It seeks to paint Obama's record as one that has left the "State of the Union" defined by high unemployment and poverty numbers, and headed in the "wrong direction."