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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Turning to a rising star
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- While the choice of the speaker to deliver the opposing party's response to the State of the Union usually rotates between the opposing party's House and Senate leaders, sometimes the party will choose to highlight a rising star among their ranks.

Democrats likely chose Webb because of his strong foreign policy credentials and the fact that he denounced his Republican ties and successfully defeated a popular GOP senator in the 2006 midterm election.

Last year, the Democrats chose another Virginian, Tim Kaine, who had just successfully won a four-year term to keep the governor’s office in Democratic hands.

Democratic responses in President Bush's presidency:

2006 - Gov. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, in English; Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, D-Los Angeles, in Spanish
2005 - Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Nancy Pelosi, D-California
2004 - Sen. Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, and Nancy Pelosi, D-California
2003 - Gov. Gary Locke, D-Washington
2002 - Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri
2001 - Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, and Sen. Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota

-- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Robert Yoon
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