Tough task ahead for freshman Sen. Joni Ernst - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tough task ahead for freshman Sen. Joni Ernst

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Freshman Senator Joni Ernst has a tough task ahead of her Tuesday night: Typically, when people remember the State of the Union rebuttals, it's because something negative happened.

For instance, in 2013, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was a little thirsty and needed a drink of water.

Or people say Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's response was just plain awkward with a strange cadence, and a "Mister Rogers" tone.

UNI political science department head and co-author of "Addressing the State of the Union" Dr. Donna Hoffman says the response to the State of the Union is tough to give.

She says the dynamics of the speech are totally different then the President's speech.

The president is speaking to a joint session of Congress and, while there are cameras there, the response's speech is given to one camera.

Hoffman says Sen. Ernst needs to focus on giving a solid speech tonight without any mistakes.

"Talk about the ways in which the Republicans want to move the country forward and part of the nature of the response also is to contrast that with what the President just said," said Hoffman. 

Hoffman says it's important to remember this is just one speech. Both Jindal and Rubio missed the mark when they gave it, but both are highly likely to run for president in 2016 -- so there is an opportunity to bounce back.

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