The Louisiana Governor says he will wait until the legislative session ends in June to make a final decision about the presidential race. However, in the meantime, he has been surpassed by young, energetic conservatives such as Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida who have already formally announced presidential bids.
Obviously, it has been a frustrating experience for the relentlessly ambitious Jindal, who has never been satisfied by being Governor of Louisiana or truly interested in the day to day responsibilities of the position. His burning desire for the White House is the worst kept secret in America, but it has not ignited much enthusiasm among the Republican electorate, until now. Yesterday was the best day in Governor Jindal's quasi-official presidential campaign. He was officially endorsed by a real TV star, Willie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame. Now that the “Duck Commander” has endorsed Jindal, it is all downhill from here for the Governor.
In a radio interview with Brian Kilmeade of Fox News, Robertson gave Jindal a ringing endorsement, noting that “he's a Godly man.” According to Robertson, “He’s got the values, he’s got the intelligence to do it. I’d love to see him run.”
Unfortunately for Jindal, Robertson is in a distinct minority in Louisiana, as only 27% of the state's voters gave Jindal a positive approval rating in a recent poll. Louisiana voters have been disgusted by Jindal's constant campaigning out of the state while the state suffers from difficult economic problems.
Currently, Louisiana is facing a huge budget deficit of $1.6 billion, caused by the Governor's reckless use of “one time money” to fill budget gaps in recurring expenses. While the drop in oil prices has hurt the state, the Governor's irresponsible spending practices has been even more harmful.
Yesterday, the Governor gave his final address to the legislative session. It was marked by only scant applause and not much support from legislators. In the speech, the Governor focused on Common Core, the issue of religious freedom, as well as the state's severe budget woes. Most legislators were unimpressed, with one walking out of the speech and others calling for more specifics. Even a Jindal ally, Republican State Senator Dan Claitor of Baton Rouge, was “a little surprised that he would make another issue (other than the budget) as part of the speech.”
It will be interesting to see how the Governor fares in this nasty session as it promises to be a very difficult one for all involved. The options are limited and the Governor has already burned so many bridges with legislators that he cannot count on much if any support for his agenda.
Despite the endorsement from a reality TV star, Jindal's presidential hopes look as dismal as the Louisiana budget projections. It seems almost no one can envision a man who has failed so miserably as Governor being capable of tackling the most difficult job in the world. If only Jindal could play the role of President on a reality TV show, then maybe he could fill the position of Commander-in-Chief. Otherwise, it seems hopeless for the Governor, as he faces more capable competitors who have better track records.
At this point, not even Willie Robertson can save the sinking ship known as the Jindal presidential campaign, which looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and is definitely a duck. You would think that the “Duck Commander” could have figured that out by now.