Donald Trump Will Be Surrounded by Women During His State of the Union Address & They’re Making the Most of It
The State of the Union Address is back on, meaning Donald Trump will be able to spend an hour-plus on the House floor, bragging and fearmongering to his heart’s content, receiving standing ovations from Republican lawmakers. But the way the event is shaping up, he’ll also be surrounded by powerful women, all working to send the clear message that he’s not going unchecked.
The most visually striking image of the speech is likely to be the women of the House who not only now exist in record numbers, but are reportedly planning to where “suffragette white” to the event as, according to Rep. Lois Frankel, chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, a “respectful message of solidarity with women across the country, and a declaration that we will not go back on our hard-earned rights.”
During Trump’s entire speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be on the dais over his shoulder, watching him. While in past years, Paul Ryan’s sycophantic smirk has occupied that chair, Pelosi is likely to bring a different energy.
Lawmakers, as well as Trump, get to invite guests to the speech, and they often use that opportunity to send a political message.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar will bring Nicole Smith-Holt, a diabetes advocate whose son died after he aged out of her insurance plan and the insulin needed to treat his type-1 diabetes skyrocketed to $1000 a month. She believes he was rationing his insulin to save money.
Rep. Sharice Davids will bring Laura Robeson, a healthcare advocate whose son was born prematurely with a number of severe medical conditions.
Davids said in a statement (via the Washingotn Post), “Laura is passionate about making sure her son Danny, and other kids with medical conditions have access to the care they need. Hosting her as my guest for the State of the Union is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of allowing insurance companies to discriminate against people based on their medical histories.”
Rep. Jennifer Wexton has invited Linda McCray, a recently furloughed federal employee from the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman and Rep. Jimmy Gomez will invite two immigrant women, Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, respectively. Morales spent years working in one of Donald Trump’s New Jersey clubs and Diaz worked as a housekeeper at his club in Bedminster, NJ. Both women worked for Trump while living in the U.S. illegally and both say managers at the Trump properties knew they were undocumented when they were hired. Morales has said her employers even helped her obtain fake documents. Both women courageously shared their stories to expose the hypocrisy in Trump’s attacks on immigrants, despite the dangerous attention it brought to them.
That’s just a handful of the women that will gather to oversee Trump’s speech. And following his address, another woman, Stacey Abrams, will offer the Democratic response, becoming the first Black woman to do so.
So Donald Trump will get his airtime. But these women will be there to add silent footnotes to what is likely to be a solid hour of rightwing propaganda.
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