Bob McDonnell, the newly-sworn in governor of Virginia, will give the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address. The SOTU is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Julian Walker of the Virginian-Pilot writes that the choice "highlights Republicans' hopes that McDonnell's win marks the start of a Republican resurgence nationwide heading into the midterm elections."
Picking a newly-elected governor of Virginia to respond to the president may be becoming a pattern. In 2005, Tim Kaine (D) gave the Democratic rebuttal to President Bush's speech.
Last year, following the newly-inaugurated Obama's address to Congress, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave the GOP response, and the near-universal response was that he bombed. Republicans have higher hopes for McDonnell.