The Republican Party leaders chose Sen. Marco Rubio to give the response. My colleague Scott is about to give you an explanation of why... standby...
@The Doctor: Agreed. She does look good for a centenarian.
Dcap, Sen. Rubio is the hottest ticket in the GOP these days. He's solidly conservative from a big, swing state (Florida) with a great personal story as the son of immigrants. He's a pivotal player in the immigration reform debate and is likely to be important in the Senate on other issues, too. The party chose him because he's just the kind of messenger the GOP wants to feature right now.
59 minutes, 46.33 seconds.
Obama has finished his speech. What do you all think of it overall?
Without a doubt, the emotional climax of Obama's address happened when he talked about gun control He used two victims of gun violence in the chambers to drive his point home. First he told the story of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old majorette gunned down just a mile from Obama's house in Chicago.
He said that the only thing he asks of Congress is to take a vote on measures that would tighten gun laws. "Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence," he said. "They deserve a vote."
For the first time since the address began, both sides of aisles came to their feet and clapped. Obama, slowed his cadence and raised his voice.
"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote," he said. "The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote."
His close was very strong -- carried probably by the emotion of the gun violence section.
As others noted earlier, it was a laundry list kind of speech for the most part. But that's what the SOTU is these days. It's easy to fault that approach, on the other hand if you're giving a speech to lay out an agenda it's gonna look a bit like a list of ideas....