Gov. Jindal Nabs the GOP’s High-Profile Primetime Slot

By Teri Finneman

Feb 11, 2009 1:20pm

ABC News’ David Chalian reports: House and Senate Republican leaders announced today that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s address to a Joint Session of Congress scheduled for Feb. 24.

“Gov. Jindal embodies what I have long said: The Republican Party must not be simply the party of ‘opposition,’ but the party of better solutions.  His stewardship of the state of Louisiana, dedication to reforming government, and commitment to bringing forth new and innovative ideas make him a leader not just within the Republican Party, but in our nation as a whole," said House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio. It appears the Republicans are tearing a page out of the recent Democratic playbook of governors responding from their home states to put the anti-Washington stamp on their party’s messaging efforts.

In 2006, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine delivered the SOTU response from Richmond, Va. In 2008, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius delivered the SOTU response from her home state.

Although it is expected that Jindal will be in Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association winter meeting from Feb. 21-23 (with a Sunday White House dinner and a Monday NGA working meeting with President Obama in the White House), the announcement below indicates that Jindal will return home to Baton Rouge, La., in order to deliver his response to President Obama’s address to Congress from there.

Jindal has said he is not interested in pursuing the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2012, but that didn’t stop him from making a trip to Iowa shortly after the 2008 election to speak with an influential group of Christian conservatives in the Hawkeye State. Providing the GOP response will do little to quiet the speculation that he may rethink his currently stated opposition to running in 2012.

Louisiana is also home to a bit of post-election pride for the GOP.  In an early December surprise, Republic Anh "Joseph" Cao defeated the embattled Rep. Bill Jefferson for the congressional seat that represents New Orleans in the United States Congress.   Republican leaders quickly began to tout that victory as the beginning of the post-Obama/2006-2008 Democratic sweeps turnaround.

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