[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/23/jindal.gop/art.jindal.wdsu.jpg caption="Being tapped to give the GOP response to President Obama's address elevates Gov. Bobby Jindal's standing in the party."]
Thrust into the spotlight as a Republican rising star, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been depicted as an up-and-comer capable of helping reshape the party and jockeying for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
And now, Jindal's party is putting him on a national platform, awarding the once little-known congressman the political plum of delivering the Republican's televised response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress on February 24.
"The speech is very important. This is his coming-out party," said G. Pearson Cross, head of the University of Louisiana's political science department, who has observed Jindal's political rise. "His speech will put a face on the name."
And put a fresh face on the Republican Party.
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