All of this publicity will help Governor Jindal sell copies of his book, “Leadership and Crisis,” make plenty of money and raise his profile nationally. However, while he is busy traveling and promoting, Chad Rogers, publisher of the Dead Pelican, and many others are asking a very simple question, “Who is running Louisiana?”
I guess the state is just running itself. So, if a Governor is not needed, maybe we can save the salary and let the Lt. Governor take the job. From the minute he was elected Governor, Bobby Jindal has been consumed by an overwhelming desire for the national spotlight. In recent months, his national ambitions have reached an obscene level. During the fall campaign, he traveled all across the country, raising money, collecting political favors and helping various GOP candidates. Curiously, he refused to endorse any Louisiana candidates and neglected our state’s severe problems.
While Jindal has been preoccupied with his own future, our higher education system has been faltering. It is so bad that students have organized protests to complain about the deep cuts in our colleges and universities. Our financial situation is so awful, that the state is facing a budget deficit of at least $2 billion. The only person with a plan, State Treasurer John Kennedy, has been dismissed by Governor Jindal’s team. In contrast, Governor Jindal has no real plan to deal with the fiscal problems facing the state. In the Fox and Friends interview, Jindal states that Louisiana has balanced its budget, which is ironic because the state is facing a fiscal catastrophe next year and only balanced it last year because it raided every fund it could find and used one-time federal money.
In his book, Jindal focuses on national issues and relishes the opportunity to bash President Obama and the Democrats. Yet, he offers readers very little information about his real accomplishments in Louisiana. Possibly, the omission is due to the fact that his Louisiana record is so poor. While Jindal promotes his book, our unemployment rate is rising and our poverty levels are obscenely high. His hazard mitigation grant program is a disaster, having distributed funds to only eight percent of qualified recipients after more than one year of waiting. Our public education system and roadways are a mess. Our economy is so weak and our population is so stagnant that the state will lose another congressional seat next year. Our levees are still not yet rebuilt to even Category Three levels and our coast is still washing away. Our major industries, such as shipbuilding, aerospace, seafood, tourism and oil, are all in crisis and declining. Other than that, everything is great, so let the good times roll.
These homegrown headaches deserve immediate attention, but Governor Jindal has very little interest in Louisiana. His aspirations are national in scope. Despite what is obvious to every political observer, Jindal claims that he has the job he wants and that he is “running for re-election next year.” He said he does not intend to run for President in 2012 and will not take the position of RNC Chairman.
Clearly, he does not have to resign, like Sarah Palin, because he is only a part-time Governor anyway. With all of his exposure on national television and profits from the new book, the Governor can have the best of both worlds by keeping his position and cashing in on his national profile. So, he is having his cake and eating it too. But, in the process, he is saying “let them eat cake” to the struggling people of Louisiana.
As he prepares for the re-election campaign, there are no challengers on the horizon for Jindal, so he will probably win re-election. But a real question demands an answer; does he deserve a second term? What are Jindal’s real accomplishments? Why are the national media and the Republican Party touting his so-called credentials? Maybe it is time to expose this emperor with no clothes.
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].
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