By Robert Mann
Not that he will ever ask me for political advice, but here’s what I’d tell Bobby Jindal if he asked what he should to salvage what’s left of his political career:
Seriously, quit. Walk away. Vamoose.
It makes perfect sense.
First, you must be getting a bit of a walking jones right about now. Your current gig is the longest you’ve ever held a job.
Since 1996, “Governor” is the only title you’ve held for more than three years (Louisiana DHH secretary, 1996-98; ULL System president, 1999-2001; assistant U.S. HHS secretary, 2001-03; and U.S. House, 2005-08).
Time to get some fresh air, Bobby. Tell us all how you want to spend more time with your family. Go off and write another book (Leadership and Crisis, Vol. II: How I Ignored the Bayou Corne Sinkhole). Get a weekend show on Fox.
Then, you can start running for president 24/7 without having to suffer through those distasteful Advocate editorials about how often you’re out of town.
No more budget crises. No more helicopter trips on Sunday morning to Jonesboro where you must pretend you’re a Baptist.
Man, to quote David Letterman, “I wouldn’t give your problems to a monkey on a rock.”
Lose those problems! You can live on the road, dude! Just you and Timmy cruising the byways of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, pushing creationism and bashing the gays and Obamacare.
And here’s the other thing: if you really want to be the Republican nominee in 2016, you can’t have a real job. Your real job must running for president.
I know, John McCain and Bob Dole were both in the Senate when they won the GOP nomination. But it’s not like Congress is a real job, right? I’m talking the kind of job in which you have to show up for work and make real decisions after long meetings with staff members and Cabinet officers. You know, the job you have now, but rarely show up for.
How do you think Mitt Romney got the nomination last year? Not by staying in Massachusetts and being governor. He ditched that job after one term and became a full-time presidential candidate. Ronald Reagan did the same.
On the Democratic side, so did Michael Dukakis.Â [An astute reader corrects me that Dukakis actually served as governor throughout his presidential campaign in 1988. “His insistence on being on the job one day a week for most of the year was one of the reasons he lost.”]
And things certainly aren’t getting any easier for you down at the Louisiana Capitol. You think this legislative session is going to be rough? You think your popularity is low now? Wait until next year — and the year after that. You’ll be the Rodney Dangerfield of Louisiana politics. No respect.
So, get out town while you have left a shred of power and self respect. It will break the voodoo and give you chance to make a fresh start.
And, the best of all — you’d get to hand all your headaches and crises and budget woes to Jay Dardenne.
- Bobby Jindal’s popularity sinkhole (and what it has to do with the real Louisiana sinkhole) (bobmannblog.com)
- Jindal’s poll: bad across the board, but he’s hemorrhaging women (bobmannblog.com)
- Jindal Approval Plummets in Louisiana (politicalwire.com)
- Some straight talk for Bobby Jindal: Dude, you are not going to be president (bobmannblog.com)
- Republican Governors Rising? Bobby Jindal Just Crash Landed. (ourfuture.org)