MSNBC’s Russert: This Time Last Year, Joni Ernst Just a ‘Pig Farmer’
REID: "All right, Luke, Joni Ernst steps into the spotlight. What are we expecting to hear from her?"
RUSSERT: "Well, Joy, as we've talked about, Joni Ernst is very emblematic for the GOP wants to be. They were very conservative in the primary. Her campaign was and moderated her views and it became a campaign toward the end about personalities. That is what you'll see her do tonight, sell her personality as a war veteran and somebody who was a pig farmer around this time last year and now giving the rebuttal to the president and that is an extraordinary rise in politics right there. And Mitch McConnell said let's turn the page and find out where we can work together and be cognizant that the government is not the solution. Sort of tried and tested old GOP ideas but the selection by Joni Ernst has a lot more to do with personality than to do with policy. One thing Mitch McConnell said around the Christmas holiday, he doesn't want Republicans to be made out to be the bad guys in the room. He is working hard to change the face of how they are being interpreted by Americans. The selection of Ernst is his attempt to do that. I expect it to be about personality and Republican themes and not specifics to the president's speech."