BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will get another prominent GOP role later this month when he delivers the national Republican response to President Barack Obama's first speech to Congress.
Obama plans to speak to a joint session of the House and Senate on Feb. 24 about the problems facing the nation. The speech will be similar to a State of the Union address.
Jindal will give the Republican response in a nationally televised address from Baton Rouge immediately after Obama's speech, U.S. House and Senate Republican leaders announced Wednesday.
"Gov. Jindal embodies what I have long said: The Republican Party must not be simply the party of 'opposition,' but the party of better solutions," House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said in a statement. "His stewardship of the state of Louisiana, dedication to reforming government and commitment to bringing forth new and innovative ideas make him a leader not just within the Republican Party, but in our nation as a whole."
Jindal wasn't immediately available for comment Wednesday.
The 37-year-old governor, who took office last year, has become increasingly prominent in a Republican Party struggling to reshape itself after a string of losses in the White House and Congress.
Jindal, the Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, regularly is mentioned as a potential 2012 or 2016 presidential contender, though he insists he is running for a second term in 2011 and has no plans to run for president.
As he raises money for his re-election bid, however, Jindal has traveled the country, including recent visits to Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas and Iowa — a state that would be key to a presidential campaign.
He has also gained attention on the national news circuit, where he has been repeatedly interviewed about what he calls the Republican Party's need to rework its message and return to its roots, and he is often cited by GOP leaders as the future of the party.
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