Our new Governor has an opportunity that seems to be afforded to Virginia politicians on a semi-regular basis these days, and that is to deliver the rebuttal to the State of the Union address. McDonnell could go a number of ways, but here's some things I would do in tonight's rebuttal if I were in McDonnell's shoes...
- K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple, stupid. Do as you did throughout your campaign. Be straightforward and direct, or at least appear to do so. McDonnell is a competent speaker, but not a tremendous orator. However, a simple, direct approach will provide stark contrast to President Obama, whose oratory skills are top-notch, but can get mired in political speak and go over the heads of some.
- Not too cautious, not too careful. Ensure that you don't go overboard with countering the President's positions, but don't fear taking a few risks, either.
- Lay out a "common sense" conservatism. Don't get mired down in anything that doesn't appeal to the masses, go with what can appeal to a wide majority of Americans from a conservative perspective. Stick to your 60 and 70 percent issues that the President and the Democrats are currently losing popularity. The economy, jobs, and government spending. You can even dig at the Dem's health care plans by pointing out that the sheer number of people coming out against it shows that it is not what the American people want.
- Be personal without getting off track. This is your chance to show American who you are, give them a reason to like you on a personal level and a political level, but don't lose track of your message.
Now, these are merely my opinions, and I'm sure he's got a better perspective on all of this than I do, but I feel that if he keeps his message clear and to the point, he can do a great job putting forward a better rebuttal than the last guy who tried, though he had a much tougher task due to the President's much higher popularity ratings at the time.