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Virginia Governor Thanks CPAC Supporters

Newly sworn-in Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) dropped by the Conservative Political Action Conference for a brief impromptu speech thanking conservatives for their support.

“Thank you so much, whether you are Virginians by birth or adoption,” he said. “I’m so grateful for the conservative support … that came into my campaign over the last year.”

McDonnell’s election last fall was seen as an early sign of Democratic electoral weakness heading into 2010. Already, he has taken the national political stage by giving the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of Union address just days after being sworn in as governor.

“There’s something happening in this country,” McDonnell said. “It’s time to enact the kinds of policies where we have limited government.”

His speech actually came as something of a surprise. McDonnell originally had been slated to speak at the conference Friday, but then backed out because the state’s House and Senate release their budgets this week, spokeswoman Stacey Johnson said.

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