In presenting our portraits of the governor, we’ve often been intimidated, maligned and dismissed .
Years ago, we displayed evidence that his cravings for national limelight was much more important than his desires to do right for Louisiana.
When we showed his game of denouncing stimulus money while distributing giant checks to local communities (without disclosing the stimulus-funds source), we were told we were lying.
When we pointed to his gross pandering to groups designed to generate national name recognition, we were accused of being jealous.
When we screamed that he ignored pleas of the sinkhole victims but freely met with families on the Presidential 2012 trail, we were told we were heartless.
When we cited his hypocrisies for blasting Washington DC fiscal practices while he raided agency funds, sold state properties, made ill-advised deals, we were excoriated for being ignorant.
So often we urged the governor to be honest and focused. So often our pleas were targets of incredulity.
But, now in this spring of 2015, Bobby Jindal’s past is knocking on his future. While he campaigns along the presidential highway, the world is recognizing the state’s healthcare, education institution and budgetary sinkholes. Now, while his false representations and half-truths about his job performances are being reported by the likes of the national media, some of his local defenders are beginning to take note.
The most recent apparently to do so is the well-respected publisher Scott McKay, the publisher of the conservative blog, The Hayride. In a post last week, McKay blog title exclaimed --“what on earth is Jindal doing”? Specifically, he questioned Jindal’s recent decision to move top administration executives to man top campaign spots in Iowa—at the very time the legislature is meeting to engage in serious tugs-of-wars over funding critical government services.
The state’s fiscal mess is so ugly that long-time political pollster and consultant Bernie Pinsonat has exclaimed this will be a legislative session like no other he has ever witnessed—which have been many. In McKay’s blog post, he wrote:
But it’s something else when, with a legislative session less than two weeks away, Jindal dumps a big chunk of his braintrust out of the state capitol building and onto the campaign trail in Iowa. How that benefits him and doesn’t feed the already-prevalent narrative that he’s abandoning his current job is beyond our understanding.
What this sounds like is Jindal is surrendering his current job. It looks like he no longer has a legislative agenda to push, he doesn’t have any solutions to the state’s remaining problems, he’s not engaged in the fight to come and he just figures it’ll all work itself out.
You can’t really take that attitude when the national media writes piece after piece about how you’ve destroyed all the state’s precious public sector institutions, how you’ve broken the public fisc and how all you’re doing is griping about the Muslims while your state burns. Jindal is a lot less guilty than they accuse him of being, but it’s not like he’s telling his story back home when he sends his top aides to Iowa to work for his PAC.
And whoever is advising Jindal that Louisiana doesn’t matter anymore and that his current job performance won’t affect his ability to catch some momentum on the presidential trail is committing absolute malpractice.
What is Jindal’s value proposition against Scott Walker, for example? Walker is polling a lot better than Jindal because conservative perceive him to have done a sensational job governing Wisconsin, gutting the Left and producing strong results – and Walker is still very much engaged in Wisconsin. He just signed a Right-to-Work bill that made national headlines a couple of weeks ago, and he’s got a very aggressive legislative agenda there this year.
What’s his value proposition against Jeb Bush? He’s more conservative? Sure. You don’t even get to Jeb Bush until you show you’re the conservative in the race who’s electable. When your back yard has dead appliances and a car on blocks in it, it’s tough to make that case.
Jindal is getting some terrible advice from whoever made the call to gut his staff and send them to Iowa to work for his PAC. That decision is going to enrage the legislators who are already irritated with having to clean up this budget mess in an election year, and they will do everything they can to strangle his presidential campaign in its crib. Nobody should have gone anywhere near Iowa until after this legislative session ends, and damn successfully at that.
Dumb. Just dumb.
The issue is not wondering how Jindal can fall into the narrative being presenting by the national (and certainly many in the local media)—that he has been destroying all the state’s precious public sector institutions, breaking the public fisc and and griping about the Muslims while the state burns.
Jindal is not falling into any “already-prevalent narrative”. He has created, IS, and has been responsible for the “already-prevalent narrative”. He is not stupid. He just does not care what we think or how bad he is making many of his defenders look.
Governor Jindal is simply being himself, thinking of himself only and not caring for the people he is paid to represent. And what is especially stupid is that some of his remaining defenders know he has no clue how to repair the damage he has almost single-handedly caused, yet, they remain silent in criticizing him.
Bobby Jindal’s legacy will be that he had the potential of being considered Louisiana’s greatest governor. He arguably is its very worse.
We are often reminded of his words of seven years ago uttered on that cold yet bright January morning from the Capitol steps during in his inauguration speech. Indeed, they still resonate:
In our past, too many politicians looked out for themselves. Too many arms of state and local government did not get results. And the world took note.
Those stereotypes cost us credibility. They cost us investment. They cost us jobs.
Let us all resolve…Democrats and Republicans…North Louisiana and South…leaders of all races and religions…elected and unelected…let us all resolve that era ends today.
Today, unfortunately too many state and local government arms are folded in disgust at Jindal’s performance. Too many minds are now wondering, will Louisiana ever be able to remove itself from the embarrassments of being last in almost all important standard-of-life measurements?
The sorry and sad truth is very simple. Democrats and Republicans, North and South Louisiana, leaders of all races and religions, elected and unelected are resolving that Bobby Jindal has cared much more about his own personal future than that of the State of Louisiana.
And many of us have long known and resolved—“what on earth Bobby Jindal has been doing”, is simply looking out for himself, first, mainly and only.
And now, the world and some of his supporters are taking note.