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One night only: Barack Obama vs. Bobby Jindal

By Jimmy Orr / February 11, 2009

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama's address to a Joint Session of Congress on February 24.

Jake Turcotte

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For those of you who don't think President Obama is on TV nearly enough, there's good news. He's got another prime time address coming up this month.

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Just to make it interesting though, this one - slated for Feb. 24 - comes packaged with a Republican response.

Yep, it's the annual State of the Union. Except in the first year of a presidency, it's an address to the Joint Session of Congress. But it's pretty much the same thing.

Ad-in

Despite the presence of a Republican response, Barack Obama has a big advantage.

More people pay attention to the president's address. After all, he gets to speak in front of the entire Congress. He'll have all of the orchestrated standing ovations (we predict 93 of them). And when he walks it'll be like a Metallica concert. Supporters will position for handshakes as if they were in a moshpit.

The Republican response will be the equivalent of holing up in a closet with a webcam.

"I won"

But to the victor goes the spoils. Whoever wins the election gets to have the big microphone.

But, still, what Republican would turn down the chance to give the GOP response? None of them. It's a big deal.

Bobby Jindal

And this year, the honor goes to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The 37-year-old governor and former congressman is well liked by the GOP establishment and is frequently mentioned as possible candidate for the presidency in 2012 and 2016.

"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," House Leader John Boehner said.

Honored

In a statement Jindal said he was honored to deliver the Republican response.

"Here in Louisiana, we have first-hand experience with reforming government and cutting taxes to stimulate our economy in uncertain times," he added. "This is a terrific opportunity to talk about our great state to the nation."

GameĀ 

So although giving the opposition response might be like landing on the "You won second prize in a beauty contest. Collect $10" square in Monopoly, it's the best game in town for the GOP.

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