And now it begins: Jindal for President, 2016

Governor Jindal Joins Local Officials, Restaur...

After four years of neglecting his duties as governor while traveling the country to make known his availability as a GOP vice presidential nominee, Gov. Bobby Jindal finally returns to Baton Rouge to reassess his future.

It’s a rare event, similar to a blue moon or an LSU night-game loss in Tiger Stadium — Jindal will likely spend more than seven consecutive days in the Governor’s Mansion.

But don’t be fooled into thinking he’s completely devoting his time to the state’s business. Jindal, as always, will be focused on the business of his political future, an enterprise that has consumed him for 15 years or more.

Sure, he’ll bark some orders to the LSU Board of Supervisors and fire a legislator or two. But most state decisions are now delegated to top aides who seem quite adept at devastating the state’s budget on their own.

From Jindal’s point of view, the state is on autopilot. Things worked just fine for the past year, much of which he spent on the road for GOP causes. Why screw up things by taking back the wheel from Rainwater and Nichols?

It’s likely that the first order of business on Jindal’s post-campaign agenda (after privately celebrating Romney’s loss) was a discussion of how he should proceed with his own presidential campaign.

Sure, he’ll keep giving us that line about how he has the job he wants. But we all know the job he wants isn’t in Baton Rouge. We’re just a weigh station on his road to greatness.

Bobby Jindal is running for president. That will be his passion for the foreseeable future. He won’t be running the state of Louisiana except in the most cursory way.

We’ll see him when disaster strikes (he always comes home for hurricanes). But his new full-time job will now be his inevitable run for president in 2016.

For the past four years, we’ve had an absentee governor. For the next three (his term is up at the end of 2015), Louisiana will have a governor in name only.

In the meantime, at least we’ll have a front-row seat to a nascent presidential campaign. If it weren’t for the fact that Louisiana has many serious problems and sorely needs a full-time governor, it might be fun to watch.

As it is, it’s tragedy and a disgrace that our governor’s attention and affection will now be largely directed at far-right voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

We’ll just have to make the best of it. Perhaps state legislators will arise from their slumber, shake off their fear of Jindal and start behaving like members of a co-equal branch of government. Perhaps the voters will demand that they do so.

I know, that’s a fantasy.

The legislature will continue to do Jindal’s bidding and Jindal, now a leader of the Republican Governors’ Association, will soon resume his relentless travel schedule.

The rest of us will be left behind, once useful to Jindal’s political ambitions, but now of no concern and very little consequence.

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8 thoughts on “And now it begins: Jindal for President, 2016

  1. I have no doubt Jindal is planning to run, but his path just got much more difficult than he bargained for. Louisiana is simply far more conservative than the country he wants to lead. His absolutism on abortion, health-care, creationism (and science in general) and even taxes – where Boehner looks ready to cut a deal – might be pleasing to the unrepentant base, but will look increasingly anachronistic as the Republican Party tries to re-join modern society after Tuesday’s defeat.

  2. I certainly hope Mr West is right. But in four years Jindal will have one thing that up until now he has lacked as he has jumped from government appointment to government appointment: a record.

    His political maneuverings, along with his vouchers and his privatization efforts, just won’t sell outside of his small coterie of Randian “fellow-travelers.” And we have three years to collect, collate, and document the real harm his policies and vision have inflicted on the citizen of Louisiana. He may be one of the few “minority” faces of the Republican party, and so may be trotted out at parties like a novelty item, but his decimation of public schools, public hospitals, public universities won’t sit well with voters in states with citizens who actually see social value in these types of institutions.

  3. America said NO to Jindal, and his brand of politics on Election night. Jindal’s brand of Rightwing politics failed last Tuesday. It give me great pleasure that Jindal has missed his chance, and the USA is disgusted with the
    rightwing Christian Taliban! Hey Jindal, you can kiss your presidential hopes, and wishes good bye! Your brand has been relegated to regional politics, not national.

  4. Pity those fools who think that change will nevah come.
    Just as it is not for me to judge, I need to add my say
    Nevah less I shall’nt expect
    Those foolish dolts, the clueless ones
    Their life is but a con
    How does one live a life in utter unusefulness

  5. Oh, he’s running, all right; his opportunistic pivoting away from the right wing has already begun. See:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83743.html?fb_action_ids=10151175099199947&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.UKKNFsblf5s.like&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map={%2210151175099199947%22%3A435522639841502}&action_type_map={%2210151175099199947%22%3A%22og.likes%22}&action_ref_map={%2210151175099199947%22%3A%22.UKKNFsblf5s.like%22}

    • I read that,Jindal has been all over Twitter, and blogs today. You’re correct, he’s already trying to move to the middle. He’s trying to abandon the Rightwing, social conservative wing, and the rich. He’s a hypocrite, and opportunist who’s destroying this state for his own political gain. I don’t think his swing to the center will help him,
      he’s attached to the Rightwing/Christian Taliban at the hip!

    • Unfortunately, I don’t see him actually moderating. What he’s arguing is to clean up the messaging. Both BESE and Dept. of Revenue have recently hired high-payed communications directors. Why? Because of BESE’s vouchers. And it remains to be seen what nasty little surprises will be in the tax policy changes, but in this case, the administration hired the communications people first, no doubt to get in front of the messaging needed to sell what will no doubt be a huge change in the state tax code making it even more regressive.

      The take-away lesson for Republicans from this election: by no means let the electorate actually know what your policies really mean. Couch the most radical right wing policy in moderate language, and you won’t scare them away. He doesn’t disavow the beliefs of Adkins or Mourdouk and their rape rhetoric: he just thinks they were “stupid” for being honest about the implications of that particular plank in the Republican platform. Jindal has deluded himself that he’s the smartest guy in any room. These kinds of people never change.

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