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Tuesday, 14 September 2010 20:32

Governor Jindal Delivers Aid To Minnesota Politicos While Louisiana Waits

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steve_sabludowsky01Why did first-term Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal fly to Minnesota last night to be the featured attraction in helping that state’s Republican Party coffers and its GOP candidate for governor’s  campaign war chest?


Why is Minnesota so important right now?  After all, Louisiana is still celebrating the New Orleans Saints two victories over the Vikings this year.  Certainly, Jindal does not need to play nice with them.

These are the questions some folks here in Louisiana just might be asking today as our Governor flew to Minnesota on Monday to jiggle some change up there in two separate tony fundraisers for the benefit of the Minnesota GOP and that state’s republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer.


All of this reminds me of November of 2008 when Jindal went to Iowa.  As we know, Iowa is the home of the first presidential caucus and the speculation was ripe then over whether the Louisiana governor was husking some Iowa corn money and support for a possible presidential bid.  Jindal even joked on Fox TV that he was going up to Iowa because of the weather in the fall and because of its corn fields.  Sean Hannity appeared to somewhat stunned by Jindal’s “weather and corn” initial reply to his questions, but then seemed to accept a little Louisiana corny humor.


Now fast forward to the present. Jindal is now in a slight hubbub whether he will be endorsing certain Louisiana republican candidates.  Considering his answer and his recent behavior, it is easy to conclude that this decision-making process might also fall on the humorous side.


When the governor was asked whether he would be endorsing fellow republican Louisiana Senator David Vitter, the Advocate reported that Governor Jindal said, “What continues to be true is we have not yet endorsed in any of the federal races in Louisiana”.


According to the Shreveport Times, when asked on Sept. 3 whether he would endorse a candidate in the Senate race, Jindal said, "I think the voters in Louisiana are smart enough to make up their own minds." Seemed direct enough that the governor wasn't getting involved before the November election.


WDSU TV in New Orleans jumped into the mix and stated on its website on September 5, “The Republican governor said he does not get involved in federal races.”


But, after the political blogland made big noise over this issue, the Advocate reported, “One of Jindal’s chief aides caused a second stir when she earlier this week said the governor hasn’t endorsed “yet” – implying, for many commentators, that he might change his mind soon.”


There is plenty of speculation as to why Jindal has been non-committal towards Senator Vitter.  It seems that most political writers who have offered their opinion on this topic believe that Jindal might believe that support of Vitter could be a career liability.


If the governor were to ask me, I would tell him otherwise.  Vitter has recently won the Louisiana republican primary by a landslide and while the election is now beginning to get serious, the incumbent appears to be in somewhat of a comfortable lead en-route to the US Senate post.


So, perhaps there is a little bit of speculation regarding why the Louisiana Governor took a day and night day trip to the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase to raise money for the Minnesota’s GOP party and gubernatorial candidate.


One theory is Jindal believes the weather must be awfully nice in Minnesota this time of the year even if corn is not as plentiful up there as it is in Iowa.


There’s another theory:  Certainly, one who aspires to be at the top of the republican food chain come 2012 national campaign season must acquire chits to parlay later for personal political advantage.


While the Minnesota weather might be great this time of year, I opt for the second theory.


Either way, the trip could make one wonder about the wisdom of such a cross-country journey given the local political terrain.  I imagine someone in the Louisiana political playground will ask why Jindal will help raise the stock of a republican gubernatorial hopeful to govern the hinterlands, yet he is tentative and some say confused over whether he endorse federal candidates of his own party in his own state who are up for a fall election.


While the majority of the republican federal candidates seem like they will have an easy ride back to the inner Beltway, at least one candidate just might be faced with a bumpy road.


Republican Congressman Joseph Cao from the New Orleans region is running for re-election in the state’s 2nd Congressional District and appears to be in the fight of his short political life as he defends against  Democratic Louisiana state lawmaker, Cedric Richmond.  Now that President Obama has come out firmly in support of the democrat to win in a strong blue political island surrounded by an ocean of Louisiana red, Cao could certainly use some public love and kisses and definitely a lot of green assistance from his republican governor.


As the election season proceeds, Cao might not be the only republican candidate that could use the governor’s blessings and also could use some nice tidings and coins for their respective campaigns.


Maybe supporting another state’s GOP Party and its candidate for the highest office while not coming out and backing any or all of Louisiana republican federal candidates might be mere cheez wheez for the super-whiz Rhode Scholar who almost took down the feds single-handedly during the days of BP War I.


Still, something tells me that at some point this brilliant governor could be forced to show his hands in the Louisiana federal candidates poker game.  Further, that same something tells me that it would be tad hard to support one or all of the Louisiana republican federal candidates (such as Cao), but not another such as Senator Vitter.


Thus, should Governor Jindal change his mind and start to back Louisiana federal officials as he clearly has done in the past as head of state, he just might need to share with the rest of us why he would now believe that Louisiana voters really cannot make up their own minds, after all.

by Stephen Sabludowsky

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