Following every presidential State of the Union speech, it’s customary that a representative from the opposite party deliver an official rebuttal in response — and who better to issue the clapback to President Donald Trump’s first SOTU address last night than Democratic Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts, the latest golden boy to carry the name of one of America’s most influential political dynasties?
Kennedy’s words were cutting, his tone a rallying cry that one political correspondent called the “best entry” into the usually-underwhelming genre of SOTU response speeches. “This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us,” he said. “They are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.” But some who watched Kennedy deliver his stirring speech could only focus on where those words were coming from — not atop a car lift in the auto shop at Diman Regional Technical School in Fall River, Massachusetts, but rather the politician’s shiny, shiny mouth.
The general consensus, at least among GOP pollsters on Twitter, was that Kennedy was drooling — “drool-mouth,” Republican “public opinion guru” Frank Luntz called it, comparing the incident to Marco Rubio’s desperate grab for a bottle of water during his State of the Union response to then-President Barack Obama in 2013. But Kennedy confirmed this morning during a televised interview with ABC correspondent George Stephanopoulos that his lip balm was to blame. “Oddly enough, I decided to go a little bit light on the chapstick this morning,” a matte-mouthed Kennedy joked. “More on the coffee, light on the chapstick, which was probably a wise choice.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 31, 2018
As you may recall, Marco Rubio’s bid for hydration made him the subject of Trump’s ridicule for several years — and considering the President’s propensity for giving belittling nicknames to his political opponents and anyone who dares “treat him badly,” it seems like only a matter of time before Kennedy joins Little Marco Rubio, Crazy Bernie, Sloppy Steve Bannon, Crazy Mika and Psycho Joe, Liddle’ Bob Corker, Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Crooked Hillary Clinton, Rocket Man Kim Jong-Un, and so very many others (425, at last count) as the next object of the POTUS’ Twitter mockery. We hope to see more of Shiny Mouth Joe taking the public stage — but for his next major appearance, might we recommend the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm?
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