Variety published a review of Joe Kennedy III's response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address but very noticeable avoided any mention of the elephant drool in the room. It was especially strange since Variety is an entertainment magazine in which images are important. Yet despite the fact that even completely political publications such as Politico published articles about what appeared to be either drool or very glossy lip balm on Kennedy's mouth which took the viewers' attention away from what he was saying, Variety's review of his speech sounded like a dull policy wonkish PR release from Kennedy's congressional office that quoted extensively from a speech that few paid much attention to due to the disturbing visual images.
A warning to anybody about to watch the following Kennedy SOTU response video: The images you are about to see can be disturbing to the point of grossing you out so perhaps you might want to avoid going full screen.
Here are the first couple of sentences of the Variety review by Erin Nyren which is only notable because of the avoidance of the all too obvious:
The Democratic Party’s response to President Trump’s State of the Union speech emphasized unity and the strength of the American people without once mentioning Trump by name.
The response did not specifically target many of the remarks Trump made in his address, but did extent a hand specifically to Dreamers, the thousands of young immigrants whose presence in the country is under threat due to the ending of the DACA program.
Yawn! And now to the Politico review which asked the question on almost all the minds of viewers of the SOTU response: Was that drool coming out of Joe Kennedy’s mouth?
Marco Rubio had his awkward pause for a gulp of water. Joe Kennedy had his ... drool?
The Democratic congressman's mouth corners appeared especially shiny during his response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address — and many online were quick to accuse him of drooling during his address. The alternative theory was an overzealous application of lip balm.
...“All we’ll remember is the drool on his face,” tweeted Josh Holmes, former chief of staff and campaign manager for Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.
Another Twitter wit delivered this one-liner: "Ask not what your country can drool for you, ask what you can drool for your country!"
It is, of course, hard to get attention for a State of the Union rebuttal. Rubio would likely have preferred a less memorable address. The same might soon be said for Kennedy, who is seen as a potential 2020 contender.
Really? You gross out millions of viewers and somehow end up as a 2020 contender? Perhaps if you are a Kennedy.
Still, if Rubio is any guide, State of the Union responses are remembered most for the optics — which in this case were especially moist.
Although Variety conveniently overlooked the gross optics of Joe Kennedy's speech, it did manage to cover the 2013 Marco Rubio water bottle incident in Rubio’s Big Gulp.