Our very own governor makes her national debut after George W. Bush's State of the Union speech tonight. As just about everyone knows, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is giving the Democrat response.
Will her 10 minutes of air time galvanize the nation? Take her rising star even higher? Sink her with a misstep? (The speech is given live.)
She comes into this:
- with high approval ratings in a red, red state
- as a pro-choice governor in a state that has become central to the battle about abortion (Think Operation Rescue and Dr. George Tiller)
- while engaged in a legislative battle over her administration's decision to block two new coal plants in Kansas
- only weeks after she appointed a new attorney general when the just-elected Democrat resigned because of a sex scandal
These are interesting times for Kansas and the governor. In some circles, folks believe it is a forgone conclusion that Sebelius will move up in the political food chain. The only questions seem to be about exactly where and when that will happen. The answer to that depends, in part, on what happens tonight.
In a very real sense, Sebelius is auditioning in front of the entire nation.
Longtime Statehouse reporter John Hanna wrote a good overview of Sebelius and her political future.