As is customary in our system of two-party politics, when one party speaks, so too will the other, and that is absolutely the case tonight. Following the president's State of the Union Address, rising GOP star Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will be giving the official Republican response. Expect the young senator to speak on the same sorts of topics as President Obama, particularly on jobs and immigration. Rubio is seen by many as the Republican leader on immigration reform.
And, as is increasingly customary within the Republican party, when the establishment GOP speaks, so too does the Tea Party. Following Sen. Rubio's address following President Obama's address, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will be giving the "official" Tea Party address. However, in contrast to the official Republican response, not all news outlets carried the Tea Party response in its first two years, and I expect this year to be no different. Some have criticized the Tea Party response as being redundant and unnecessary - it has largely parroted the official GOP response in the past, and Sen. Rubio is not without Tea Party backing of his own. Nevertheless, expect the firebrand Sen. Paul to go hard at Pres. Obama, particularly concerning the economy.