By Robert Mann
Gov. Bobby Jindal made official on Wednesday (June 24) what we’ve known for years: He believes – all evidence to the contrary – that he is supremely qualified to be president.
Like a dog that hears a faint sound his owners cannot, Jindal’s ears must detect the quiet voice of God urging him to run. After all, he told us he was earnestly praying about the decision. Thus, one must conclude that after assessing his infinitesimal chances (he’s at 1 percent in the national polls and is likely the nation’s least popular governor), Jindal has faith that his flagging campaign is poised for a miracle.
Those looking for anything new in Jindal’s announcement did not find it. In fact, the whole run-up to the event in Kenner had all the suspense of an episode of the 1960s TV sitcom “Gilligan’s Island.” Like Gilligan, Jindal is shipwrecked on a tiny isle of public opinion. To reach the home for which he longs – the White House – he must escape the atoll of GOP ambivalence where he’s been stranded for years. Unfortunately, the voters – just like Gilligan’s audience – know that he’s not going anywhere.
Not unlike the desperate castaways on the TV show, each week finds our governor concocting some madcap escape scheme: He utters something bizarre on a national news program. He launches a furious attack on Hillary Clinton. He delivers a fiery speech to evangelical voters in Iowa or South Carolina. He pens a perplexing op-ed in a national newspaper. Nothing works. He remains marooned.
Not quite over the horizon, a frustrated Jindal spies the mainland of public approval where stand more-popular candidates like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. Jindal’s every scheme to escape his lonely spit of land inevitably flops, often in a pitiful manner (just Google “Jindal no-go zones“). Alas, he and his skipper/campaign manager, Timmy Teepell, are mired in a comical cycle of promise and hope followed by failure and disappointment.
It’s no wonder Jindal is stuck. He lacks the skills to build a sturdy vessel. Like Gilligan’s ill-fated SS Minnow, Jindal’s nascent campaign is not seaworthy.
I doubt Jindal’s minders allow him to read mine and other columns critical of his misrule. But if the governor should somehow escape his bubble long enough to read this, he might gain some insight into why he will not be the GOP nominee.
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