After President Donald Trump finishes the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, all eyes will be on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who will deliver the Democratic response to the president’s speech.
The 48-year-old former prosecutor, who made history in her state as the first female leader of the Democratic caucus in the state Senate, became the Wolverine state’s governor after defeating GOP nominee Bill Schuette in the 2018 midterm elections.
The win came two years after the battleground state helped hand Donald Trump win the election over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) referenced Whitmer during the January primary debate while listing female candidates who have proven they could win against their male competitors in races across the country.
In her election fight, Whitmer embraced expanding healthcare and focused on “dinner-table issues,” which she said lies at the center of what makes the party stronger. Whitmer also does her best to not mention President Trump, which helps her with avoiding divisive, partisan fights.
The Michigan governor told the Associated Press after her State of the Union announcement that she has advised current Democratic presidential candidates that voters in her state are less focused on Trump’s tweets and more concerned with “fundamentals,” like fixing deteriorating roads and offering job training for better-paying positions.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) heaped praise on Whitmer upon announcing her as Democrats’ choice for the rebuttal.
“Whether it’s pledging to ‘Fix the Damn Roads’ or investing in climate solutions, Governor Whitmer’s vision for the future is exactly what this country needs, and I’m thrilled she is giving the Democratic response,” he said in a statement.
“These are the fundamentals that people in America are concerned about,” Whitmer said, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “thought I would have a message that would resonate.”
Whitmer will give her response to Trump’s State of the Union address immediately after he finishes his speech. Trump is scheduled to give his speech at 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 4.
With Post Wires
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