Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will deliver the GOP response
to President Obama's State of the Union address on January 27.
Hotline On Call's Erin McPike
writes that GOPers are hoping to capitalize on the momentum the party
has built from recent electoral gains, particularly by McDonnell in
Virginia, Chris Christie in New Jersey, and Scott Brown in
Massachusetts. According to McPike, the party
believes McDonnell "is the best face to put in front of the country's
surging populism." What advice should McDonnell heed when planning his rebuttal?
- Be Better Than Jindal, says Daily Intel's Adam Raymond.
"For McDonnell's sake, let's hope his star turn goes better than Bobby
Jindal's, who delivered the GOP response to President Obama's address
to congress last year. Jindal's much-hyped performance was widely
panned, though it's hard to dislike someone who so thoroughly resembles
30 Rock's Kenneth Parcell. "
- Find A Different Venue. The Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham
lauds Bob McDonnell as the perfect Republican to deliver the address
but frets that the minority party's rebuttal "always suffers so much
just by venue-comparison; at least livening up the traditional empty
room setting would help."
- Do A Roundtable Instead. Jimmie
of The Sundries Shack proposes changing the format of McDonnel's
rebuttal, subbing in a roundtable discussion with Christie and Brown
for the traditional 15 minutes of "the same old boring and stilted
The truth is, most Americans aren't political junkies and they won't pay much attention to McDonnell at all. Unless he truly embarrasses himself, his 15 minutes will get boiled down to a ten second sound byte in the
Thursday morning news reports and pretty much forgotten by the time
noon rolls around....The GOP has a rare opportunity to talk directly to
all of America, something the minority party only gets once or twice a
year. Why waste it with a speech?
- Be Yourself. Jennifer Rubin
at Commentary Magazine argues that McDonnell is the ideal choice. "He's
not likely to screw up. This is a highly disciplined politician who
survived the Washington Post onslaught and an avalanche of negative
ads, never losing his cool during the campaign. He won by not just
stating his opposition to Obama's agenda but explaining why ordinary
voters should oppose it too....and finally, McDonnell's tone is perfect
for this sort of thing -- calm, pleasant, upbeat, and reasoned. That too
was part of his appeal last November with both women and suburban
independent voters who don't much like fiery rhetoric."
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