The biggest thing to watch on Tuesday evening during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address will likely be what he has to say about the impeachment proceedings against him, especially now that an acquittal without witnesses in the Senate trial is all-but-assured to come about the day after his big speech.
Many expect his address to be almost a campaign stump speech in-and-of-itself. Indeed, most presidents see a “bump” in their poll numbers after a State of the Union event, and given this is an election year, Trump will definitely try to cast himself as a president worth re-electing come November.
Following his address, however, the rebuttal from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who won her state two years after Trump won it in 2016, will try to convince Americans to take a different path moving forward.
“Democrats across the country have a plan to improve education, fix our infrastructure, expand and protect health care coverage, and build an economy that works for everyone,” Whitmer said after it was announced that she was to be the choice for Democrats to respond to Trump’s State of the Union address, The Detroit Free Press reported.
Whitmer plans to give her remarks at East Lansing High School, where her daughters currently attend. In the past, Whitmer has said that Democrats should be focusing more on actual issues that matter to voters, not on Trump’s behavior or his Twitter habits, reporting from VOA detailed.
Whitmer won the governor’s seat in Michigan in 2018, attaining 53.3 percent of the vote while her Republican opponent only garnered 43.7 percent. For comparison, Trump won Michigan against Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton by a much narrower spread, defeating his opponent by a 0.3 percent margin (and winning only with a plurality, not majority, vote).
Who is Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan governor giving the Democrats’ response to Trump’s State of the Union speech? https://t.co/u2xWm0LaMv
— Sun Nation/World (@baltsunworld) February 3, 2020
Because of Whitmer’s electoral success in the Great Lakes State, her name has been tossed around as a possible vice presidential nominee for whoever wins the Democratic Party’s nomination contests. But Whitmer has said she has no desire to leave Michigan.
“I have never been drawn to Washington, D.C.,” she said in the past. “My family’s here in Michigan. I love this state and I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to serve as the governor. I’m not looking to join a ticket. But I do want to be a constructive part of making sure I’ve got a great partner in the White House.”
Trump will face a difficult time winning Michigan again in this year’s general election, if recent polling holds true from now until that time. A recent poll found, for example, that Trump was down by as much as 13 points versus an unnamed, generic Democratic candidate.