Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Does Louisiana See Jindal?

Today WAYLA reports on local politics from Louisiana.

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has gained considerable attention in his state’s blogosphere lately concerning trips he has made across the country. The trips are often for fundraisers on behalf of other Republican politicians and conservative organizations.

Yet many are aware of his potential - and his ambitions - to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012.

From a recent editorial in the Daily Advertiser:

Jindal, who has been identified as "the rising star" in U.S. politics, seems to be rising higher as he travels around the country speaking at Republican gatherings. While the exposure will benefit him in whatever political path he takes, it will surely keep alive rumors of a run for the presidency.

He has also developed a mantra about the GOP: Republicans need to stop worrying about themselves and start worrying about the country by working with Democrats. He even went so far as to call the GOP the “party of corruption, big spending and earmarks”. Nonetheless, he has been strong to his ideology.

This all being said, the people of Louisiana have not been too enthusiastic about their governor starting a campaign for an election four years away.

Columnist John Maginnis writes:

Most people don't mind that we have a governor who is going places. But in these uncertain times, more are asking where, or if, he is leading us.

Fear is running through state government and universities among employees who don't know if they will have jobs when projected budget cuts are made. Hospital administrators and college presidents have been directed to prepare worst-to-best-case scenarios, though none of them are good…

…Jindal knows how to delegate and he needn't be holding his administrators' hands with every controversy. Yet there are moments when they should know that he has their back, because he says so publicly, even if some other people don't like it.

It doesn't matter how many weekends he spends out of state, or even that he's back at his desk first thing Monday morning. When it comes to leadership, it's not his perfect attendance that we need, but, rather, his presence.

Stephanie Grace, another columnist, writes “in political circles around here, ‘Where's Bobby’ is becoming a punchline.”

Some news services have introduced polls about the subject. Fifty-five percent of respondents to a Business Report survey say Gov. Bobby Jindal is spending too much time out of state at fundraising events. A similar poll at LANewslink.com showed over 73% feel he is gone too frequently.

While these internet polls are completely unscientific, it should be embarrassing to Jindal that these news services are asking the question at all.

We have reiterated the words of Tip O’Neill before: “all politics is local”. How many Americans do you think notice Jindal’s trips? Probably not too many. But one group of Americans certainly does - residents of Louisiana.

Many politicians unpopular in their own state find it difficult to win on the national level - just ask John Edwards. While Bobby Jindal may have ambitions to reach the peak of American government, he will find himself suffering backlash from his own constituency if he is not careful - and that would be the surest way to lose the prospect of Presidency.

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