Rand Paul will give ‘tea party response’ to Obama’s State of the Union address

February 8, 2013

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Why President Obama is about to deliver his most important State of the Union address

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* The Secret Service is investigating a hacker's apparent theft of e-mails and photos belonging to the Bush family. The material was posted on The Smoking Gun Web site on Thursday, and includes e-mails showing intimate moments in the lives of former presidents George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.

* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will deliver the "Tea Party response" to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, the group Tea Party Express announced on Friday. Paul will speak directly after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivers the formal Republican response to Obama, the organization said.

* Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has reportedly signed a plea deal with the Justice Department regarding the misuse of campaign funds. Jackson resigned his seat late last year amid mental health issues and a federal investigation of his political dealings.

* Bill Clinton received a very warm welcome at House Democrats' annual policy retreat Friday -- apparently even warmer than the reception Obama received a day before. Clinton weighed in on immigration, gun control, and health care, among other things. “It’s important to do immigration right and as soon as possible," he said. When a person in the crowd shouted: “We miss you, Clinton replied: “Sometimes, I miss you."

* Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert also appeared at the retreat, where House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to convince him to become a Democrat. "Governor Nikki Haley rejected you; we will welcome you with open arms,” she said. Colbert said he and Pelosi were "best frenemies." He also sang the Star Spangled Banner with Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.)

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* Pelosi will bring a child from Newtown, Conn., and her mother to Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday. The child does not attend Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a mass shooting occurred late last year. An aide said Pelosi invited the child after she wrote the Democratic leader a letter explaining that she had launched a petition drive in Newtown to urge Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons.

* Republicans are keeping up their effort to blame Obama for triggering the threat of the sequester. The office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is using the Twitter hashtag #obamaquester.

* The former White House physician who publicly expressed concerns about New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie's weight says she received an angry call from Christie and is now reconsidering her previous support for him. “Politically if this is the way [he handles] stress… is this presidential? I'll have to think about that. Is this a presidential way to behave?" Dr. Connie Mariano asked.

* Actor/director Clint Eastwood said his speech at last year's Republican National Convention, in which he used a chair to symbolize Obama, "seemed odd at the time." But, he added, "I'm an odd person." Eastwood joked: "One thing about getting into the senior status of life, like I am, you don't really care. You just say what you say, and then you get away with it."

* New Hampshire Republican state Rep. Bill O'Brien is considering challenging Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster in 2014. O'Brien served as the speaker of the state House of Representatives from late 2010 through 2012. The GOP lost its state House majority last November amid a Democratic wave in the election in the state.

THE FIX MIX:

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Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Aaron Blake · February 8, 2013