Another day, another dilatory post as I started this one a week. Okay, enough inside bloggerdom.
The erstwile Governor of the Gret Stet of Louisiana has published a book. It has given him another excuse to travel to places such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. I can’t imagine why, he said batting his eyelashes like an ingenue. I’m pretty sure that PBJ speed dictated the book because the man talks a mile a minute. It’s a good way to camouflage the fact that he’s got nothing interesting or original to say.
I, of course, have no intention of putting a pfenning into Jindal’s pocket so I’m replying on thePicayune’s Stephanie Grace to fill us in:
Don’t read Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new book, “Leadership and Crisis,” for the writing.
Jindal’s style is, to be blunt, unsophisticated. When he wants to emphasize a point, his fallback position is to simply put it in italics, a technique more suited to a direct mail appeal than a work of literature. The result is numerous passages like this: “We waited.And waited.”
Don’t read it for a serious exploration of policy. With few exceptions, Jindal sticks close to well-trod Republican talking points on limited government, freedom and the like. “We don’t need so many czars in the White House!” he exclaims at one point.
And don’t read the book to glean insight into Louisiana’s political scene. Major episodes from Jindal’s tenure earn only glancing mention. Even when he delves into a topic like ethics, he skips over major controversies such as the fight over whether his own official records should be public.
If you’re looking for a reason to pick it up, the best one is that it offers a window into what Jindal thinks he needs to say, who he thinks he needs to be, to position himself for the future in national politics that, despite his protestations, he obviously wants.
One of the book’s main themes is that, despite his exceptional résumé, Jindal’s got regular guy bona fides. The picture gallery includes a shot of Jindal in hunting gear, another of him and the entire Brees family right after the Super Bowl. That’s one of several attempts to grab a little of the Saints’ reflected glory. There’s also a jacket blurb by Sean Payton and a chapter titled “Who Dat,” which actually is about Jindal, not the team.
The autobiographical sections paint Jindal as a proud, and proudly unhyphenated, son of the Deep South conservative heartland, whose Indian heritage never made him feel different. “I don’t much care what people call me, but I don’t like when people ask me where I’m ‘really’ from,” he writes. “I’m from Baton Rouge by God Louisiana. I am an American. Period.”
One of the things that bothers me the most about Jindal (along with theEddie Haskell factor) is his rejection of his ethnic identity. Jindal’s fatherAmar is such a fanatical assimilationist that he essentially dropped his family in India. This isn’t how the Indian-Americans I know treat their families back home: they help them financially and often bring them to America. That’s not how my Greek immigrant family treated their own either so I’ve always been appalled by this. Of course, that’s a sin of the father but the son is a douchebag as well.
According to Stephanie, most of the policy bits in PBJ’s book are winger platitudes: Obama bad, deficit bad unless it’s for tax cuts, which are always good. Yawn. PBJ is one of the dullest pols I’ve ever seen. He was able to con Louisiana’s voters into electing him by claiming that he’s a super smart problem solving technocrat. Instead, John McCain’s flirtation with putting Jindal on the ticket has swollen his head and he’s spent much of the time since imagining that some day Hail To The Chief will be played whenever he enters a room.
Even the disastrous response to Obama’s first state of the union speech, didn’t cool PBJ’s Potomac Fever, it just went into remission. The BP Oiltastrophe gave Jindal a chance to ride around in a boat with the national press and bash the Obama administration. The little engine that is his ambition got revved up again although I’m not sure if his incoherent oil spill bad/drilling good message will play as well in Iowa as it does in the Gulf South. I’m sure he’ll take the Ethanol pledge if he ever runs in Iowa. I think, however, that PBJ is aiming at the second slot on the GOP ticket in 2012. Romney-Jindal is a definite possibility. The Mittster would regard PBJ as a fine pander to the teabaggers and wingnuts and we all know how much Mitt loves to pander…
The bad news for Jindal is that Louisiana voters have started to notice that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the state of the Gret Stet. PBJ refuses to raise taxes or fees, which could make things more interesting next year in the unlikely event that the Louisiana Dems get their shit together.The latest statewide poll shows that PBJ’s approval rating is down 13 points to 55% and his negatives have risen to 43%. He keeps claiming that this is the job he wants so it’s time for him to put up or shut the fuck up.