The thing about the State of the Union address is, even though the American people are supposed to hang on to every word that drops from President Barack Obama’s lips, there’ll be 534 other highly opinionated people around that night who would also like to have their say.
Most of the time these easy breezy bicameral get-togethers go off without a hitch. On some occasions, however, basic civility can give way to raw emotion — the ensuing political fireworks effectively overshadowing any semblance of national unity and completely dashing the illusion that ideologues maintain any respect for the highest office in the land.
It’s tough to predict whether any such inflammatory episodes might burst into the public consciousness this year. If obligated to pick potential rabble-rousers to keep an eye on, the following candidates would definitely be on HOH’s short list.
Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich.
Flaunting decorum by snapping pics on the House floor less than a week into a new gig is one way to make a name for yourself in #ThisTown. Guess we’ll see if amateur shutterbug Mike Bishop can make it through Obama’s address without feeding his Twitter flock a pictorial play-by-play.
Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill.
“Passionate” is one way to describe how Mike Bost gets when he firmly disagrees with someone.
Let’s hope he can keep the hair-raising, paper-hurling, Bible-quoting theatrics that made him a star in the Illinois statehouse to a dull roar should he take issue with anything 44 might put out there.
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va.
The convention-slayer from Southern Virginia has already bucked the establishment by voting against Speaker John A. Boehner during an intraparty showdown. And he’s publicly denounced Obama’s executive action on immigration policy as “morally vacuous."
What are the odds he’ll bite his tongue with the eyes and ears of the world trained on this most Washington of spectacles?
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa
All bets are off on whether she decides to take the bull by the, um, horns, and elects to "fix" Democratic colleagues up good with the welcome gift Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., thrust into her hands just a few weeks back — her very own hog castration device.
Outbursts happen, even if they weren't technically at a State of the Union, but just an address to a joint session of Congress.
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