Governor Sebelius, the popular Democratic Governor of Kansas, has been chosen to respond to George Bush’s final State of the Union address. Diane has a good review of some of her recent achievements. It’s a tremendous testament to her and to the state of Kansas that she’s being given this opportunity.
She came to office as Kansas struggled to overcome fiscal hardships caused by the first Bush recession, and managed to balance the budget, maintain and ultimately raise education spending and protect social services without raising taxes.
More recently, she made history by refusing permission to build a massive coal plant in western Kansas, citing the dangers of climate change as the major basis for the refusal. It was the first time such a permit had been refused on those grounds.
Sebelius has, in these and other ways, shown Democrats how to win in the Midwest. Her name has been floated regularly as a potential vice-presidential nominee (the photo above would make for a nice ticket in ’08), though I’ve made no secret of thinking she’d make an excellent Senator. A seat will be opening up at the same time she’ll be term limited out of the Governor’s mansion, which seems like perfect timing. As her national profile rises, she could be in a position to sneak in ahead of Hillary Clinton as the first female President.