Archive for Monday, January 28, 2008

Striking a pose for the nation

Sebelius’ speech tonight reflects her appeal to Democrats

January 28, 2008


In addition to giving the democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address tonight, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also appears in the February issue of Vogue magazine.

In addition to giving the democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address tonight, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius also appears in the February issue of Vogue magazine.

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has impressed Democrats nationally by winning two terms in a Republican state, and party leaders are giving her a plum speaking role before a prime-time television audience.

Top congressional leaders picked her to give the Democrats' response tonight to President Bush's last State of the Union address.

Presidential candidates are seeking her endorsement. She's coming off a year as chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association, a group former President Bill Clinton once led. Previously praised by Time and Newsweek as an effective governor, Sebelius is profiled in the February issue of Vogue, which even photographed her in an Oscar de la Renta dress.

"She is very much on the minds of national Democrats," said Peter Fenn, a Democratic media consultant in Washington. "The main thing people are looking for is somebody who can get things done. It's a first-rate opportunity."

She made Democrats' lists of potential vice presidential running mates for John Kerry in 2004, and while there's less of the same talk this year, she's a possible Cabinet appointee. She's also considered a strong potential U.S. Senate candidate in 2010, though she has publicly played down any interest.

Fellow Democrats often note that when she began her tenure as governor in 2003 the state faced one of its worst financial crises. Yet, they note, she managed government without imposing a general tax increase. Spending on public schools has increased dramatically since she took office, and the economy generally has been sound.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sebelius' record and her being "an effective voice" for fellow Democratic governors led to the invitation. Pelosi, a fellow graduate of Trinity College in Washington, called the governor, an aide said.

"In many ways, Governor Sebelius embodies the leadership style and record of accomplishment on display from a host of Democratic leaders in the heartland and across the country," Pelosi said in an e-mail response about the choice.

Sebelius said: "This is about good things happening in Kansas, and the attention is positive and good for the state."

Republicans have reacted with a little pride over a Kansan getting national attention but some frustration over Sebelius' continued reputation in national political circles.

They have long argued that the economy isn't as strong as Sebelius portrays it and that job growth is largely a result of an increase in government employment. If the state hasn't imposed tax increases, Sebelius has proposed them - and endorsed higher tobacco taxes to pay for health care initiatives this year. They have accused her of being absent on big issues, only to claim credit for legislation later.

And some Republicans doubt her speech will create an impression.

"Who gave the response last time?" asked Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. (The answer is Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.)

But whatever prominent Republicans say about her, registered GOP voters have supported her in significant numbers.

She won re-election in 2006 with nearly 58 percent of the vote, in a state where less than 27 percent of the voters are registered Democrats. President Bush carried Kansas twice by large margins, and no Democratic presidential nominee has won its electoral votes since 1964.

"She indeed has been remarkably successful drawing independents and disaffected Republican support," said David Rohde, a Duke University political scientist. "From that point of view, she's an attractive face to put on the party."

Peter Hart, a veteran Democratic pollster who worked for the 1968 Senate campaign of Sebelius' father, said choosing Sebelius suggests Democrats aren't looking for a partisan, "red meat" response. A speech from someone from outside the partisan disputes in Washington may be more convincing, he said.

Sebelius automatically is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in late August in Denver, but she has not endorsed a candidate. She had delayed a decision to appoint a new attorney general and to prepare her own State of the State address earlier this month. Her staff has said that Pelosi suggested - and Sebelius agreed upon - not backing a candidate until after her speech.

Both Fenn and Hart think the Democratic presidential race's narrowing to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama removes Sebelius as a serious contender for the ticket. Even so, she's highly regarded, they said.

"Would any administration like to have someone like Governor Sebelius in a key position? The answer is: of course," Hart said.

Fenn acknowledged that how much Sebelius boosts her national profile depends on how well she does with her response, to be broadcast from the governor's residence. A softening economy and open races in both parties have heightened voter interest.

"It's not your ordinary State of the Union response," Fenn said. "The spotlight is not going to just be on the president, but it's going to be on the party that controls the House and the Senate, for the first time in a while."


Richard Heckler 10 years, 3 months ago

Never under estimate the ability of Governor Kathleen Sebelius. In fact she would be a better female candidate for president than Hillary Clinton. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is a thinker that sees the broader picture and does not seem to be inflicted with tunnel vision.

Of course republicans do not want Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to come as a person who knows what she's doing for that would be embarassing considering the last 30 years of mideast war,PNAC and reaganomics = irresponsible domestic and foreign policy.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would an excellent replacement for Sen Pat Roberts or Sam Browback or any other of the Kansas PNAC neoconsrevatives. The greater portion of Topeka,Kansas republicans are under the weather due to PNAC thinking that has been spread by way of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce,Brownbacks Club for Growth(LOL)and the Koch family.

Sen Pat Robertson needs to be NOT elected again. Number one he has been in office too long. Number two it's time to replace 95% of incumbents with new democrat faces in 2008. Next time around voters can replace incumbent democrats with new democrat faces. This needs to happen every 6 years.

It seems to me republicans have become PNAC republicans that support the PNAC doctrine supporting world domination which = more and more war. War is NOT diplomacy.

Left_handed 10 years, 3 months ago

Come on, Merrill. You whine about 95 percent of incumbents needing to be replaced (I'm for that, only I'd replace them with Republicans) yet "new conservatives" (neoconservatives) you portray as evil. Do you want old or new? I'm not a neoconservative, and I think many of their ideas are dangerous, but not as dangerous as the ideas of the leftist/socialist/communist members of the Democrat party. Choose your poison, says I.

janeyb 10 years, 3 months ago

KS------ Q: "She did convince Paul Morrison to change sides. My gosh, what would everybody be saying now if he were still a Republican?"

A: Thank God! At least he was having sex with a woman and not tap dancing in the men's room.

Maybe "change sides" is not the best term to apply to leaving the GOP.

After reading these posts this morning, I realized that right_thinker is Kris Kobach. Come out right_thinker! Admit that you are Kobach and that KS is Christian Morgan.

FatTony 10 years, 3 months ago

Kansas Democrats aren't real Democrats. They are logical Republicans. Its the Republicans in this state that are ultra-conservative religious whack jobs.

Paul R Getto 10 years, 3 months ago

It's nice to see her getting some well-deserved publicity. Most people think they can be the gov, but it's hard, hard I tell ya, trying to navigate between the two Repubican parties in Kansas.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 3 months ago

Maybe I need to get a new eyeglasses prescription.

KS 10 years, 3 months ago

Queen Kathy is like Bill Clinton in that she is a legend in her own mind. The reason she got the independent and disgusted Republican vote is because the Republicans put up a pretty sorry candidate the first time. Once you are in, it is hard to get them out. Bill Clinton won the Presidency becasue of Ross Perot. Perot split the Republican vote and gave the job to Clinton. Clinton should go down to Texas and kiss the ground the man walks on. Queen Kathy got her job pretty much the same way. She is disgusting posing for a magazine and frankly, I don't find her "hot". It doesn't even look like her. BTW, what is her 23 year old son doing still using his parents address and relying on public housing? Shouldn't he be out on his own by now? Some kids never leave home. I agree with Pat Roberts about who gave the response last year. "IF", I listen to the State of the Union, I certainly turn it off when the President is done, regardless of party. It's all politics anyway. Anything beyond Kansas for Kathy will require her to do something on her own. She has done nothing for Kansas.

RedwoodCoast 10 years, 3 months ago

Sad day for Kansas you say? I say it is a good day; it actually makes Kansas appear contemporary and relevant. Most of all, having someone like Sebelius in such increasing prominence serves to counter the notion that Kansas is primarily populated by uneducated bumpkins, which is how I've discoved many people in this country see the state.

RedwoodCoast 10 years, 3 months ago

Stupid democrat doing a good job. And oh man, she's trying to promote herself! Imagine that, she's a polititian. The republicans aren't going to give her credit for doing well in their republican state. That would be like letting the enemy sleep in your guest bedroom for the night and serving her breakfast in the morning.

janeyb 10 years, 3 months ago

She kept a right wing republican nut out of the governor's office for 8 years. That was what she was elected to do. That is good enough.

Just read on the Topeka CJ that the head of KDOT is recommending a "vehicle mileage tax" to go along with the fuel tax in raising money for highway projects. Doesn't sound good.

BigDog 10 years, 3 months ago

Damn the dress looks like someone recycled a set of drapes or skinned a couch.

kristyj 10 years, 3 months ago

BigDog- I totally agree. That scene from the Sound of Music is coming to mind.

Dressed in OdlR? Sounds a bit more red-carpetish than us folks here in Kansas are used to. I wonder if she got paid for the Vogue gig- any self-respecting Democrat should donate that money to education. And sell the dress on eBay, to donate the money to education.

tolawdjk 10 years, 3 months ago

  1. She's a public official. She cannot be paid for an appearance.

  2. OdlR is decidedly outside the realm of "acceptable" gifts to recieve. My guess is the dress is still with Vogue.

casinoOK 10 years, 3 months ago

Governor Kathleen Sebelius for Vice President...

salad 10 years, 3 months ago

I think she looks fabulous! BigDoug & Kristyj wouldn't know fashion if it fell out of the sky, landed on their heads, and started to wiggle. Gov. Sebelius is a classy lady, and an excellent representative for our state. Redwoodcoast is right, she makes our state contemporary and relevant. I'd vote for her in a heartbeat over Hillary.

acg 10 years, 3 months ago

The dress is gorgeous. Just because she doesn't resemble a two dollar whore, like most of Hollyweird, doesn't mean she's not fashionable in that dress. She looks classy and sophisticated, the way a lady should look.

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 3 months ago

I haven't watched any of Bush's State's of the Union or the responses... and I won't watch Bush tonight... but I will watch Kathleen Sebelius's response...

salad 10 years, 3 months ago

"I wouldn't miss what that miserable wench has to say for the world."

R_T is CLEARLY referring to Ann Coulter....

"...with the esteemed leftist LJW On-Line (award-winning) neighbors."

Wait....What?!?! R_T you're on here more than anyone, so lumping the LJW on-line neighbors together logically includes you. So are you a closet liberal? Or have all the sulfurous fumes you emit so confused you that you no longer are sure which way is right? I bet your happiest day would be to have the honor of Dick Cheney shooting you in the head. Pretty sure another set of horns would just grow out of the hole.

Rob Zerwekh 10 years, 3 months ago

Sebelius won't be a VP candidate. Clinton won't want a "chick ticket" and Obama won't want another Midwesterner. She will, however, be a low-level cabinet candidate if the Democrats win the White House. If the Republicans win, it's the Senate in 2010.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 3 months ago

I have to say that the picture is a great picture. Very attractive. Now, with the proper digital touchups it could be Steve Corliss in that dress and he'd look hot.

KS 10 years, 3 months ago

anxiousatheist - Please correct me if I am wrong and I know you will, but I don't recall Sebelius running against Kline for Governor! I thought she run against Tim Shallenburger the first time and Jim Barnett the second time. Did I miss something? Very possible.

local_support 10 years, 3 months ago

"frankly, I don't find her hot."

Dude come on. She's not only hot but she's classy hot! That's the hottest kind of hot!

KS 10 years, 3 months ago

local_support - You must be very old or weird or both.

salad 10 years, 3 months ago

Local_support is correct: the gov. is hot.

KS is old & weird...and has no taste.

local_support 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm 26 and and know a hot older lady when I see one. I guess I must be weird because I don't let age define beauty.

And thanks for getting my back salad!

acg 10 years, 3 months ago

Well now, local_support, that was one of the coolest things I've seen written on these boards in a while. It's a shame that too many kids, like KS apparently, seem to think that hot is defined by youth and the amount of skin one has showing. Class is hotter than trash any day.

salad 10 years, 3 months ago

No problem. Conservatards have no clue what a beautiful woman is. They'd think Helen Mirren isn't hot because she works in Hollywood. I mean, just look at the women they marry (then divorce because they're so moral)....the current occupants mom has looked the same since GHWB married her in the 40's! Scary....

james bush 10 years, 3 months ago

It's depressing when a president and a governor are held in such low regard.....who's to blame? US I GUESS!

james bush 10 years, 3 months ago

Bush should just not talk and Sebelius should wear long least they are both worthless!

allateup 10 years, 3 months ago

Kline has never ran for gov............yet!

mmiller 10 years, 3 months ago

I think gov. Seb. looks like Glenn Close!! Seriously, google image Glenn Close. You'll see a resemblance. LOL. She rocks by the way!

Kathy Theis-Getto 10 years, 3 months ago

This is very classy, and Kathleen looks stunning.

KS 10 years, 3 months ago

Agnostick - I never meant to say that there was a three way race for Kathy. It that came across that way, poor me. I am human and make mistakes, unlike others who post here. She got her job because of a poor candidate being put up to run against her. Someone easy to beat. She has done nothing for the State of Kansas during her terms. Well, I take that back. She did convince Paul Morrison to change sides. My gosh, what would everybody be saying now if he were still a Republican? If I am wrong, I am not afraid to admit it. Life goes on.

domino 10 years, 3 months ago

I think the Gov looks GREAT - wish I would look that good at that age. I also think it is great coverage for Kansas to have someone out there promoting Kansas - other then Fred Phelps!!

TheEleventhStephanie 10 years, 3 months ago

I think she looks beautiful and I'm proud to have a hot lady represent me as a Kansan. At least she presents us as something other than ignorant hicks.

Chris Golledge 10 years, 3 months ago

I guess I must be old. I thought, 'That's not quite the right image for a political picture, but wow!' Then I figured out it was a snapshot from Voque. 'Ah, that explains the pose and the no-sleeves.' Same as you wouldn't expect evening event attire at a political rally, and vice versa, the outfit is fine in context. It's just that the LJW chose that image instead of one from some political event that caused it to raise eyebrows. I wasn't thinking Glen Close, I was thinking Diana if she'd gotten older.

Job wise, she's in the top few KS govs I've lived through.

toefungus 10 years, 3 months ago

I don't think this is going to bring a herd of young men to Kansas.

George_Braziller 10 years, 3 months ago

I've always liked her. Haven't always agreed with her but have always liked her. Several years ago when she was Insurance Commissioner she and her husband were rockin' at a Kelly Hunt concert at Liberty Hall. Not aloof, in touch with the "unwashed masses" and really showing that a being politician doesn't mean you have to be a drab drone.

trythinking 10 years, 3 months ago

"And thanks for getting my back salad!"


This coming from a guy whose login is a reference to grabbing another man's testicles.

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