The re-education of Bobby Jindal

Remember when the large stimulus bill was passed earlier this year and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came out against Obama? For a while he even made headlines by refusing to accept some of the stimulus money. What has happened to him since then? Whatever else you want to think about Jindal, he is undeniably intelligent. After Obama, he might be, intellectually speaking, among the smartest of elected officials in the country. Jindal knows when to hold and knows when to walk away. After the “Kenneth debacle” he smartly walked away from the limelight. Let Pawlenty and Palin and Huck go all Icarus. The shrewd ones like Jindal and Romney (and maybe even George Allen) will fly under the radar, biding their time (for the record, Huntsman is my 2016 dark horse).

Jindal knows that there is no way he has a shot in hell of being president in 2012 or even 2016 unless he has a record as a successful governor (cough cough…Sarah Palin). You know what you need to deliver to your people in order for them to consider you a successful governor? Healthcare reform. From his op-ed in WaPo last week:

A majority of so-called Republican strategists believe that health care is a Democratic issue. They are wrong; health care is an American issue, and the Republican Party has an opportunity to demonstrate that conservative principles work when applied to real-world problems…

Republicans must shift gears. Conservatives should seize the mantle of reform and lead. Conservatives either genuinely believe that conservative principles will work to solve real-world problems such as health care or they don’t. I believe they will. [Link]


p>The people of Louisiana want healthcare reform. They also want continued post-Katrina assistance. By cozying up to Obama he sacrifices some love from the Republican base for a whole lot more of everything else he needs to be successful as governor. But just who is playing who here?





President Obama on Thursday praised Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal after a crowd here booed the Republican, who is considered a future challenger for the White House.

“No, no, Bobby’s doing a good job,” Mr. Obama said when a large portion of the crowd booed the mention of the governor’s name.

Mr. Obama noted that he and Mr. Jindal have political differences, but praised the young governor to the crowd of a couple thousand at New Orleans University.

“This person’s working hard on behalf of the state,” Mr. Obama said. “You got to give people credit for working hard.”

The president told Mr. Jindal from the podium, “Bobby, if it makes you feel any better, I get that all the time.” [Link]


p>Methinks there are some soundbites here that could hurt Obama some day. In addition to cozying up to Obama, Jindal has yet to endorse fellow Louisianan (and adulterer) David Vitter-R.

the governor pointedly declined to offer his endorsement of Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who could face a serious reelection battle next year in the wake of his appearance on a Washington madam’s client list and his subsequent admission of an undefined “very serious sin.”

…he also staked out some of the ground that helped Obama get elected last fall — appealing for bipartisanship and seeking to tamp down some of the partisan vitriol in Washington. Jindal offered little in the way of direct criticism of Obama, except to say that he thought the Republican Party was effectively channeling many Americans’ reluctance to support what looked like a Big Government solution to health care. [Link]

The bottom line here is that Jindal’s original strategy was to go to the right, just like Palin, Huck, and most of the others. He is majorly course correcting now and all of the above is evidence of this. He gets the fact that his original strategy got him nowhere fast.

14 thoughts on “The re-education of Bobby Jindal

  1. unable to find the story now, but there was an article a couple of days ago, just before obama’s visit to nawlins about how jindal has been eagerly accepting the federal dole, especially this year as his state’s economy slides from bad to worse. so much for playing the sanford game of refusing the stimulus check to let people starve while scoring popularity points, and then, taking the check and claiming it as his own contribution to louisiana recovery.

  2. This is not going to hurt Obama. His m.o. is rising above partisan rancor. Remember McCain doing nothing when his supporters were slandering Obama’s character and platform, and when they were ranting about him being a secret Muslim and socialist, etc.? McCain barely blinked. Obama is standing up for an elected official of the United States. That’s leadership. That’s what the majority of the nation voted for. If the crazed conservatives want to go after Bobby bhaiya, who is trying to hedge his bets by not taking any stands at state or federal levels, then that’s completely fine. They’re entirely illogical anyways.

  3. I don’t think Jindal ‘walked away’ so much as he was pulled away by his embarassed party.

  4. Smart as Piyush may be he is blinkered and wedded to a vacuous ideology with a veneer or respectability.Sometimes it matters more what you believe in than how much you know.

  5. “Gov. Jindal More Concerned Over Image than Louisiana’s Interest”

    Dear Blogger:

    Re: Rep. Anh ‘Joseph’ Cao calls on Gov. Bobby Jindal to support rail project, Times-Picayune, by Lolis E Elie, October 3, 2009

    How interesting Gov. Jindal considered applying for-– that is, before he was against the request — a federal stimulus grant for a rapid rail system between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

    Given the no-brainer advantageous economic and environmental benefits the rapid rail system would create, Gov. Jindal’s refusal to apply for the grant is entirely rooted in the detrimental blow back to his political image — which applying for the funds would create.

    After Gov. Jindal was belittled and berated on the Keith Olbermann Countdown program on MSNBC in August, having chuckled while ridiculing President Obama’s proposed rail project on national television in the Republican response in February to the President’s stimulus package, Jindal’s consideration to apply for the funds, for a decades-overdue rail system, suddenly had the emergency brakes applied.

    Jindal’s apparent high speed aspirations for national office, sparing Gov. Jindal from future criticism -– being before rapid rail, before being against it, I believe, has indubitably trumped the interest of the citizens of Louisiana, and what a shame.

    In addition, to counter Jindal’s argument that the state could not afford the $18 million annual expense to operate the system, fewer helicopter rides to politic -– at the taxpayers’ expense -– disguised as trips to attend church service on Sunday would be a good start.

    As well, the rail system would be a huge complement to a future regional airport between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

    And I thank and congratulate Congressman Anh ‘Joseph’ Cao, state Sen. Ed Murray, New Orleans City Councilman Arnie Fielkow, and state Rep. Neil Abramson for providing vital leadership.

    David C. Bellinger (404) 762-8779 E-mail: Atlanta, GA 30315

  6. This is about Jindal trying to grab about a billion dollars of medicaid reimbursements that Lousiana lost after a temporary post-Katrina boost to the economy left the state government with lower matching funds. Jindal needs Obama to sign off on an exception so he can pass his own healthcare reforms and balance the budget.

    Note while Jindal has supported Republican attempts at a deal in principle, his actual stances are close to Congressional Republicans. He supports healthcare reform in the abstract, but not the packages being debated.

    Expect him to tack right again after this blows over–offering some slogans on the need to “work together” while sharing the same stances as other conservatives. His priority is winning Republican primaries, be it in 2012, 2016, 2020…. he’s very young, and has a lot of time.

  7. thanks, jyotsana, though if Sarah Palin left a glamour magazine on the kitchen counter, all bets are off.

  8. Piyush is doing s good job! Better than the nobel “peace” prize winning ass kisser in the White House.

  9. Well said … BJ is an intelligent hypocrite …. unlike Palin who is just a hypocrite.

    Murali – Obama did not ask or nominate himself for the Nobel Peace prize … don’t hate the player!! How is BJ doing a better job than the Prez.

  10. ” After Obama, he might be, intellectually speaking, among the smartest of elected officials in the country”

    Why is Obama smart? Please Explain. Is it because the television said so?