Joe Kennedy III 'Surprised' He Was Chosen to Deliver Democratic Response to State of the Union Address - NECN
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Joe Kennedy III 'Surprised' He Was Chosen to Deliver Democratic Response to State of the Union Address

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    Joe Kennedy III 'Surprised' He's Giving Dems SOTU Response

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement in a statement Thursday night, saying they chose Kennedy because he is ``a relentless fighter for working Americans.''

    (Published Friday, Jan. 26, 2018)

    Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, who is serving his third term in the House, will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address next week.

    "It was a very big surprise."

    Congressman Kennedy was characteristically modest when asked his thoughts about giving the biggest speech of his career Tuesday night.

    "I have got some work cut out for me over the weekend to write a speech."

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    Why does the 37-year-old think he was chosen?

    "I don’t know."

    House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi says she chose Kennedy because he is “a relentless fighter for working Americans.“

    Others say Kennedy’s youth, liberal bona fides and family name made him an obvious choice - though some feel the celebrity cuts both ways.

    "Joe Kennedy is a great choice, he’s a very eloquent speaker," Democratic analyst Evan Falchuk said. "I think in the age of Trump though, we need less star power whether it’s the Clintons or the Kennedy’s or Oprah."

    Falchuk hopes Kennedy will deliver a substantive message about what the Democrats stand for.

    "Instead of just continuously railing about how awful Trump is. You know, Trump’s bad. But the Democrats need to lead and provide a vision for the future."

    Kennedy says he is just starting to write the speech but did offer this one goal.

    "To not be boring.… No pressure here, right?"

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    Kennedy knows the national spotlight will spark a litany of questions, including his thoughts on a possible run in 2020.

    "For me," Kennedy says laughing, "I wouldn’t hold your breath, I wouldn’t hold your breath."

    But will he rule it out?

    "I wouldn’t hold your breath on it."

    When Congressman Kennedy goes live Tuesday night it will be from here in Fall River, at the Dinah Regional Vocational Technical High School which Kennedy describes as innovative and inspiring. 

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