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A Divided Response To McDonnell In Virginia

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By Michael Pope

In Virginia, Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided on their governor's Republican response to the State of the Union.

Reviews of Bob McDonnell's speech are all over the map in Virginia, where the new governor is finishing his second week in office. In Alexandria, Republican City Councilman Frank Fannon says McDonnell's style should serve as a template for the future of the party.

"I think a lot of people relate to Bob McDonnell, and I like his message. I think a lot of people relate to Bob McDonnell, and I like his message," he says. I like the way he delivers things. I like his thoughts and ideas. He's even eleven days into his administration so let's see how things go, but I think he's the type of Republican people are looking up to."

Democratic strategist John Chapman isn't as impressed.

"To me he seemed very general. The ideas he was bringing, you could read out of a textbook about American politics or American values or something like that," says Chapman. "He didn't seem real to me."

Expectations are high for Virginia's new governor. Yet Democrats and Republicans both say they want to see how McDonnell handles a difficult budget year before making any conclusions about his political future.


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