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Uninspiring Jindal delivered competent, needed message

Gov. Bobby Jindal turned in a forensically lackluster performance with his first shot at a truly nationwide audience but where mattered more he did well with a tough hand.

Tapped to give the official Republican response to Pres. Barack Obama’s first primetime nationwide speech, using mostly his own words, without the pomp of the House of Representatives chamber and contrasted to a consummate speaker whose message is echoed uncritically by the media and often unchallenged by his Jindal’s own party. It was a tall order and Jindal didn’t hit a home run by any means.

Still, the message wasn’t bad. It is difficult to introduce much in the way of deep philosophy in a span of 10 minutes with 50 minutes of Obama’s ground to cover and Jindal refrained from his usual machine-gun delivery which may have caused him to come off as uninspiring, but the text was solid. He emphasized Republican willingness to work with Democrats but when principles clashed they would not hesitate to oppose, with that principle being Democrats were more trusting of government to provide solutions to American’s problems than in Americans themselves. Empowering government, not people, was not the way to go, he reminded.

He did draw upon some Louisiana experiences such as how taxes were cut here while Obama promised to raise them (and he correctly noted it was a collective, bipartisan effort last year and did not give himself undue credit for it), and made an intriguing connection between ethics reform and the rushed spending bill that became law last week, implying that Democrats’ bludgeoning the bill through without any Republican input or even chance to review it in its entirety was an kind of ethical lapse. This shows Jindal still will rely heavily on the cachet of those reforms as a selling point for him and his party.

He also obliquely disputed some of Obama’s less credible statements, such as when Obama insisted there was no pork in the spending bill, Jindal refuted that with examples. He echoed Obama on a very few occasions, such as with charter school support.

It wasn’t an inspiring performance but was competent. And lest anyone think it would diminish his stature as a leading Republican for national influence, recall that at the 1988 Democrat convention the prime speaking slot was mangled into a dull spectacle by a young Southern governor that led some to predict he had no future on the national stage. That butcher was Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So the "Conservative" columnist David Brooks of the New York Times panned Governor Jindal's speech as "insane" and not realistic. What is insane is that the Democrats really believe that more and bigger government is in anyone's best interest.

What a surprise! I believe that it is an oxymoron to say conservative columnist and works for the New York Times in the same sentence.

And as for all the Democrats appraising it, they are so objective!