Republican Response Preview

Responses to the State of the Union are almost uniformly awful. In recent history, Katherine Sebelius looked and sounded like an early-model Cylon. Then responding to Obama's Not-quite-state-of-the-union address last year, the normally quite personable Bobby Jindal was so wooden, he was practically petrified. This is thought to be an artifact of the format, in which a politician who does, in fact, know how to talk, tries to do so while speaking at length to a round glass circle. So tonight, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell will be giving the response in front of a live audience in the Virginia legislature building. That may mitigate the awfulness, but unfortunately for him, Obama is a very, very tough act to follow.