Bernie Sanders is delivering his own State of the Union response tonight after Trump’s finishes, and you won’t want to miss it. Already a frontrunner and potential favorite for the Democratic Presidential ticket in 2020, Sanders has said that he’s considering another Presidential run, but hasn’t made a decision yet. But if enthusiasm for his post-SOTU speech is any indication, he should give that run some serious consideration. His supporters were ecstatic when he announced that he would be giving his own response to President Donald Trump’s speech after the State of the Union is over tonight. But how can you watch his response? And what time will it likely be?
If Bernie follows the same process he used for his response to Trump’s speech last year, then his speech will be posted on his Facebook page as a livestream about 30 minutes after Trump’s speech. Last year, Trump’s address to Congress ended at 10:09 p.m. Eastern and Bernie began his livestream response at 10:43 p.m. Eastern, about 34 minutes after Trump’s speech ended.
To make sure you catch Bernie’s speech live as it happens, make sure that you’re logged into Facebook and on his Facebook page: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. “Like” his Facebook page and then, under “Following,” choose to turn “Notifications” on. (Make sure that notifications are on for live videos. This way, you’ll get notified whenever his page starts a live video.)
Although we don’t have an exact time for Bernie Sander’s speech tonight, we do know that it will take place quickly after Trump’s speech is over, probably within 30 minutes. Trump’s speech is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Eastern, and the SOTU event should be all wrapped up no later than 10:30 p.m. Eastern. This means that you might want to start keeping an eye out for Bernie’s response around 10:15-10:30 p.m. Eastern, although it could start later than that.
Last year, Bernie gave a 14-minute long response in a video that he posted to Facebook. You can rewatch his response from last year in the YouTube video below:
Sanders isn’t the Democrats’ official choice for a State of the Union response. That honor goes to Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III, grandson of the late Robert Kennedy and great nephew of President John F. Kennedy. But although Progressives and “Berniecrats” want to be excited about Kennedy, they just can’t all quite get there. A big reason is because of Kennedy’s stance against marijuana legalization. Marijuana Moment reported that in 2015, JK3 (as he’s sometimes called) was one of 10 House Democrats to vote against a measure that would protect medical cannabis patients and providers from being prosecuted by the federal government. He was also one of 24 Democrats who voted against a measure to block the Justice Department from interfering with state marijuana laws. He also voted against amendments to increase veterans’ access to medical cannabis.
Kennedy also supports the Affordable Care Act, but isn’t quite as sure about single-payer bills. He says he supports single-payer in theory, but wasn’t sure about certain details in Coyners’ recent bill, for example. Kennedy was also a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, which is an advantage or a disadvantage depending on who you ask.
Elizabeth Guzman, a member of the Virginia state legislature, will deliver a Spanish-language response, officially sponsored by the Democrats. Rep. Maxine Waters from California will also give a response during a BET news special. And Donna F. Edwards, a former Maryland Congresswoman, will also give an address for the Working Families Party.
Although Kennedy will be giving the official State of the Union response, there’s also a lot of interest in Bernie Sanders’ response. And although Sanders wasn’t the Democratic nominee and he’s now an Independent in Congress again, he still has the ear of a big percentage of Democratic voters (not to mention independents.) It will be interesting to hear what he has to say and compare it to Kennedy’s and other Democrats’ responses.