This marks a major decline in support for Jindal. In 2008; the Governor enjoyed an approval rating of 77 percent. It fell to 68 percent in April of 2009. Today, Jindal’s approval rating is roughly the same as U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, who is still recovering from giving her support to Obama’s unpopular healthcare bill.
What happened to the one time superstar of Louisiana politics? In 2008, Jindal was hurt by his wavering on the issue of huge pay raises for legislators. Last year, his televised response to President Obama was ridiculed by pundits from all across the country. In the last few legislative sessions, Jindal refused to offer much needed fiscal reforms. His one so-called good government reform, passing new ethics laws was exposed as a sham. The law exempted the executive branch of government, which showed that Jindal wanted transparency for everyone else, but him.
This year has been especially harmful to the Governor’s image. After posing for the cameras for several months during the oil spill crisis and pushing a dubious plan of building sand barriers to “trap” oil before it reached the marsh, Jindal returned to form and started flying the friendly skies. He has spent the past several months traveling all across the country raising money, politicking, and issuing endorsements. Ironically, Jindal endorsed Republican candidates from far flung states, but refused to support any Louisiana Republicans.
Now he is focused on book sales. After writing a book on “leadership,” the Governor is embarking on a multi-state book tour. In a few days, Jindal will be traveling to New York for another book signing. He just finished a ten day out of state trip selling books and raising money for his re-election.
Presumably, he will be keeping the profits from these book sales. What really irks many Louisiana voters is that he is selling the book while on our dime. He is supposed to be doing a job that he is being paid to perform, but he refuses to address our biggest fiscal problem in many years, the looming $2 billion budget deficit.
While Jindal is doing nothing to solve the state’s budget crisis, State Treasurer John Kennedy is touting a 16-point plan that is attracting plenty of support. Kennedy is now the state’s most popular politician with a 61 percent approval rating.
While Jindal has been selling books, Louisiana voters by a two to one margin say that conditions in the state are getting worse, not better. Voters have tired of a distracted governor who spends so much time on his own political agenda and so little time on state problems.
One pursuit that Jindal does love is fundraising. He just finished a $5,000 per person duck hunting expedition with GOP bigwigs. At least the duck hunt was held in Louisiana. Because of his constant fundraising, Jindal has millions of dollars in his campaign account. He has literally been raising money since his first day as Governor. This will give Jindal a huge financial advantage this fall when he seeks re-election.
Because of his millions in the bank, Jindal will be difficult to defeat in the fall. Nevertheless, these falling poll numbers give potential opponents some hope they can unseat our preoccupied governor. The Southern Media poll indicates that only 39 percent of voters will definitely vote for Jindal again, while 35 percent will definitely vote against him. Another 23 percent will consider voting for another candidate.
These weak numbers show Jindal is vulnerable, which would have been unthinkable just a few short months ago. In politics things change quickly, just like the voters impression of Bobby Jindal.
Sadly, Bobby Jindal has been quite a disappointment. At beginning of his career, many of us hoped he would be a different type of politician. We hoped he would use his many gifts to transform our backward state. Instead, he has become the worst type of politician; constantly self promoting and delivering few tangible results for our citizens.
Our hopes have been dashed by a politician who fooled us. But as the old adage goes, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” These poll numbers show that the people of Louisiana are tired of playing the fool.
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