Rebuttal man: McDonnell to respond to Obama

hotseat-mcconnell2The Congressional Republican leadership invited Governor Bob McDonnell to speak for the party following the State of the Union address.

Governor Bob McDonnell will provide the Republican rejoinder to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address January 27, the third Virginia-based politician to provide a presidential counterpoint in just five years.

Back in 2006, McDonnell's predecessor, Tim Kaine, gave the Democratic response following then-President George Bush's State of the Union address. Senator Jim Webb did the Dem honors in 2007.

"It's a big deal," says UVA political guru Larry Sabato. "McDonnell can crow just as loudly as Kaine did."

Sabato says he'd predicted that either newly elected Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, or McDonnell would be picked to respond for the Republicans.

"It signifies that the national party leadership wants this person to be the face of the party," explains Sabato.

Yet, the pundit also points out that the task brings some political peril because Obama is a good communicator and a tough act to follow.

"No one compares to the president at the State of the Union address," says Sabato, contrasting the pageantry of addressing the full Congress, while the other party's standard bearer is likely to be alone, standing in front of a fireplace.

McDonnell has already made national headlines this week for attempting to reverse one of his predecessor's final and most controversial acts: sending convicted murderer Jens Soering back to Germany where his incarceration would only be guaranteed for two years. McDonnell won the election in November with nearly 59 percent of the vote. Will this solidify his role as a rising star?

"It's better to be picked than not picked," says Sabato. "And I don't think it'll hurt him."


McDonnell is definitely positioning himself for a run for the Presidency.

No new taxes and let the legislature find over 4 billion in cuts;
but this initiative is the stupidest of all--his solution to our transportation problems

from the Richmond TimesDispatch:
"On transportation, McDonnell said he wants to raise the speed limit on interstate highways in rural parts of the state to 70 mph."

I hope this guy makes it his agenda to turn Virginia into the most business friendly and tourism friendly state in the Union. If we get big companies to locate to Virginia they will be paying salaries with money they earned from the other states. (think IBM Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin etc)In order to do this we need to evaluate luring incentives and go after them.

Reopening the rest stops is a great first step, I could not believe Kaine was so stupid as to close them. Their closing meant people drove through to DC or wherever instead of stopping and getting local info.

He should invest in promoting tourism advertising partnerships. Money earned in Pennsylvania and spent here is free money.

Say what you want about Bush. I didn't vote for him, but he definitely had charisma. McDonnell doesn't. The setting made him appear to be bush-league. "Look, I can gather the state GOP around me in the state legislature and read a speech!"

re:"I wonder what the struggling would have done 50 years ago?"

Sounds like you are fairly ignorant of American (and indeed human) history. There was government and private assistance 50 years ago for people who struggled. In fact, there have ALWAYS been people who struggled to get by. It was always so and will always be.

Jesus chose to help and comfort them. I wonder what BM will do?

Sympathy said "big companies that saleries with money earned out of state...."

That means theat Hewlitt packard sells computers and takes the profits and pays virginians to do the paperwork. That is GOOD for the state because it brings in money from elsewhere. How does that HURT in any way????

Same goes for a family from new jersey stopping at Kings Dominion.. they spend money they earned in NEW JERSEY..

That is totally different than BFI coming in and taking your money to take away your trash when you could have paid your neighbor to do it.

Think once in a while.

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Yeah McDonnell understands all of that about business. That's why in all his years in the legislature and as AG he never did anything for development other than try and persecute a black female judge and pass anti- female legislation.

What successful business did he run??

McCaca on the horizon. Sooner than later if he doesn't loosen that tie .

McDonnell is the right man for VA and to give the speech. His successful election win was the first sign the country had woken up. He cares to understand how business works and we need this more than ever. I'm thrilled by his ambition to sell leases to oil exploration companies. That is a bellwinner for the revenue shortfall. I'm sure heads are about to explode because I said that. So sorry. Domestic Oil rigs are good for fish and national security. :)

"If we get big companies to locate to Virginia" you mean like BFI/Allied/Republic that control the trash business in the entire state, and try to stomp out local trash haulers and recyclers. I'd prefer to see incentives for local businesses and companies, not huge international conglomerates that create monopolies, drive out competition, and end up costing the taxpayers more for inferior services.

Gilmore Schmilmore!! And Warner/kaine were FAILURES!!

Ol' BM knows what's right for good hard working honest REAL AMERICANS like him (if you catch my drift).

I think what his mentor Pat Robertson was right and I would extend it to anyone who has ever suffered: If you hadn't made a deal with the devil, you wouldn't suffer. If you suffer, then God just doesn't like you and it's your own fault. Jesus Loves a Winner!!

"Yep classic conservative. White male with ââ?¬Ë?family values’ fo the right weight with no real agenda beyond tax cuts and cutting programms for struggling families”Š.."

I guess the struggling are lucky. I would cut every bit of welfare except for seniors, disabled and the recently unemployed. The rest could either find a job, create a job or move. I wonder what the struggling would have done 50 years ago?

that picture of Bob reminds me of Aaron Eckhart's character Harvey Dent/ Two Face in the movie "Dark Knight". anyone else get that?

Skyler, great point about schools! I lived and worked in Northern Virginia as a teacher. I almost quit teaching. When you put 32 students in a classroom it is almost impossible to get anything done because you can't even walk through the classroom. Education has been on the back burner for every VA governor for years.

"you put 32 students in a clasroom"

I couldn't agree more... except the schools have a 12/1 teacher to student ratio... so as a teacher can you explain why the system is so messed up that the students suffer from a 32/1 ratio in the classroom?

Poor managment I would suppose.

Oil development and tourism? Gov McBob will destroy both. One good oil spill at VA Beach and watch those tourist dollars go somehere else. Then the state will be stuck with the cleanup, same has happend in the Texas coast. Big business will do nothing for the state unless we require them to do something. Just opening our doors and letting them come in? So we want to give a big corporation a TAX BREAK for the honor of locating here. I believe they've had enough tax breaks already. Does AIG sound familiar? Let thm pay their share the same way the residents do.

What business, successful or not, has any politician run? Oh that's right- Frank Lautenburg started and ran ADP...........made gazillions, then became a business hating, democrat US Senator from Joisey.

Any others?

I agree creating advantages for big, out of state businesses would be a disaster for local businesses. The trash business is a good example, as mentioned above, not only Allied with the landfills, but the arrangement the City has with Waste Management, a monopoly, shutting out our local recycling center. We need to stand up for local companies that create local jobs for our citizens.

I'm afraid this governor will create a business disaster in our state. Remember what happened with Gilmore and the car tax fiasco.

Yep classic conservative. White male with 'family values' fo the right weight with no real agenda beyond tax cuts and cutting programms for struggling families.....

Bob McRobertson is NOT a moderate, and the recipe for fixing schools is certainly not to choke their funding (which is what BM proposes).

No, strike that. He has not actually proposed anything yet. A proposal of any sort would actually be surprising.

Virginia is for (Republican) lovers. Good think the true nature of the commonwealth is starting to shine once again. Time to get rid of the evil northerners.

The countdown to embarrassment begins: how long until McDonnell blurts out some Pat Robertson-influenced mumbo jumbo about the devil, minorities, the rapture, or foreign countries? I'll put the over/under at 60 days.

No sympathy 4 devils--You have no idea what you are talking about Lockheed Martin has offices in VA. I think HP does too.

I dont think anyone needs to worry about what the govenor of Virginia does. The president can't even get anything done and McDonnell is definitely too stupid to get people to listen to him. Bottom line is, he is moderate and he is probably not going to screw things up worse than they already are. Trust me, the school systems have been getting worse for the last 12 years.

Chuck he has proposed this: from the Richmond TimesDispatch:

ââ?¬Å?On transportation, McDonnell said he wants to raise the speed limit on interstate highways in rural parts of the state to 70 mph.”