In fact, he has been running for President since the first day he was elected as Governor. Jindal has a history of jumping from one position to the next before accumulating any real achievements. His unbridled ambition has now been fueled by none other than “Bush’s brain,” political consultant Karl Rove.
In a speech to the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry on Tuesday, Rove said “I think if he (Jindal) wants to be a candidate he could be a really serious one.” There is no doubt that Jindal wants to be a candidate, but it is highly doubtful he will be a serious one.
Unfortunately for the Governor, he lacks charisma and is a poor pubic speaker. Jindal does not have the movie star looks of Mitt Romney, the war record of John McCain or the politically powerful connections of George W. Bush. His credentials are suspect. His budget is under attack from fellow Republicans, with several disgusted conservatives filing a lawsuit against the Governor for using “one time revenue” to pay for recurring expenses. His education reform plan is facing multiple court challenges and his efforts at government reform have been non-existent. State bureaucracy is top heavy with politically connected officials earning six figure salaries, contributing to budget that is massively in debt.
His latest proposal to eliminate income and corporate taxes deserves serious consideration, but the solution is not to raise our already high level of sales taxes. Louisiana has the third highest sales taxes in the nation. While our income taxes are a disincentive to recruit business to Louisiana, we should not raise sales taxes more and place an undue burden on key industries such as tourism.
The real solution is to eliminate income and corporate taxes and “pay” for it by cutting spending. The governor’s problem it that he wants the plan to be “revenue neutral” which will leave in place the current bloated level of state government spending. Sadly, from the beginning of his term, Governor Jindal has done a poor job of instituting serious budget reform or and offering substantial spending cuts.
In addition, the Governor’s frequent trips out of state and his overwhelming deserve for higher office are not very popular with the people of Louisiana. The latest public opinion poll of Jindal showed his approval rating at an anemic 51%. To be considered for higher office, Jindal needs to have solid political support in his home state. Today, more and more of the people of the Louisiana are becoming skeptical of Governor Jindal. While his income tax plan may be revised and help resurrect his popularity, his constant travels will continue to be unpopular.
Will the national audience and GOP primary voters fall under Jindal’s spell? With so many other potential candidates such as Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Jindal will have a hard time garnering attention and raising funds in a very competitive environment.
In the end, Rove’s prediction about Jindal will be about as accurate as his prediction that Romney would win the presidential race in a landslide.
It is amazing that so many people continue to pay Karl Rove for his inaccurate forecasts and his questionable opinions. It is also amazing that so many people claim Jindal is presidential material even though he lacks the essential qualities of a good leader and possesses only one significant trait, unquenchable ambition.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].