News today that U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has been selected to deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address next week made me wonder how many other Washingtonians had filled that role.
The opposition response - at least a televised response - began in 1966 and for the first two years the leaders of the House and Senate GOP spoke. That was U.S. Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois and U.S. Rep. Gerald Ford of Michigan.
The only previous Republican from Washington to deliver the response was U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn of Bellevue who paired with another figure well-known to Washingtonians - then U.S. Rep. Steve Largent of Oklahoma.
The first Democrat from Washington to be part of the response was U.S. Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson in 1970. But Jackson was part of a gaggle of seven politicians who gave the opposition viewpoint after President Nixon's speech that year.
U.S. Rep. Tom Foley who represented the same district that McMorris Rodgers now represents, gave the responses in both 1990 and 1992 following SOTU speeches by President George H.W. Bush. At the time, Foley was the Speaker of the House.
Finally, Gov. Gary Locke was picked to be the Democratic spokesman in 2003 following the address by President George W. Bush.