Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jindal's National Moment

The nation will be watching our own Bobby Jindal tonight as he gives the response to Obama's pseudo-State-of-The-Union-Type address.

I'm watching Jindal too. He was elected with great promise in Louisiana; after the debacle that was Blanco and Katrina, he looked really good.

There are a lot of folks that have not been happy with Jindal, however. One is vocal radio host Moon Griffon. I adore Moon and listen to him regularly when I'm off work in the summer. He's a grassroots, homespun kind of guy. He thinks Jindal has been disingenuous in touting his six tax cuts for the state.

Moon points to the Stelly tax mess as evidence of that and to his credit, he is correct. Jindal is touting the repeal of the Stelly tax as one of his tax credits but to date, nobody is receiving that tax break. In fact, a non-profit group, Believe in Louisiana, ran an ad promoting Jindal last summer; the ad said "Jindal's getting rid of that awful Stelly tax; it's a $300 million income tax cut!" The group bought ad time on Moon's show and once Moon heard the ad, he dropped it and sent the check back.

C. B. Forgotston is even more vocal in his criticism of Jindal. C.B. has a blog and has run several posts demanding that Louisiana citizens "hold Bobby's feet to the fire" about the hiring freeze and outmigration just to name two.

LSUS Professor Jeff Sadow writes articulately about "the dunderhead chorus" who criticized Jindal's decison on the stimulus funds. He explains clearly the logic behind Jindal's refusal of the funds.

What sticks in my mind most is last summer when the state legislature tried to give themselves a huge pay raise immediately after the election. I wrote about it here; Jindal refused to veto the raise until the very last minute despite his campaign promise that the leges would not be allowed to do that. There were protests at every stop he made around the state and a recall petition was circulating until he finally pulled out the veto pen.

Jindal's speech tonight will be poised, articulate, intelligent and he will shine. He will be informed of his facts and he won't be vague. He won't say "uhm" and "uh" a thousand times. He might say "Let's be clear" too much - a favorite of his. Here's a preview of his style:


Anonymous said...

I like Jindal. He's a very accomplished man, and very articulate in the several interviews in which i've seen him. But despite your mocking of Obama's speaking style, you can't really be impressed with Jindal last night could you? He was stiff and uncomfortable, it even looked like his chuckles were choreographed. I was looking forward to his response last night, but couldn't have been more disappointed with him.

And style points aside, i wish he would've said something new, besides the same points we've been hearing from the GOP for the past month. Simplistic arguments about wasteful line items in the stimulus, is such small-minded rhetoric. Of course we all want legislation to be as streamlined as possible, but does anyone really think we solve our nation's problems by eliminating the pork in legislation? Of course we all want taxes to be as low and as efficiently used as possible, but haven't we just had eight years of some of the lowest taxes in our nation's history? Yes we have, and as an taxation plan, its left us with an enormous deficit, and deficient public infrastructure and education spending, amongst other issues. And no Democrats don't want big government, but government has its place, and i believe President Obama has put it best when he says that we've moved beyond debates of big vs. small government, the real debate is how do we create "effective government". So, GOP, please just come up with a new idea for the economy, for healthcare, for education; and spare us all the rantings about moral hazard, ethics, and values when you (GOP congressmen, senators, and governors) were the same ones patting Bush and Cheney on their backs while the deficit ran up, the average american income decreased, problems of healthcare and education were left untouched, and two wars were imcompetently started.

Telling the public that you're getting back to your values as a party does nothing to address the problems at hand. The public isn't asking for a new GOP, their asking for ideas to fix our major problems. To hear Jindal start talking about where the GOP went wrong and how the plan to win back the trust of the public seemed so forced and out of place. Don't tell me about the direction of your party, this isn't a state of the GOP address, its a response to a speech by The President in which he laid out an agenda for addressing our nation's problems. Give me your ideas, please. It leads one to believe that the GOP simply resorts to criticism to mask their lack of new ideas and direction for the future.

Pat said...

Oh my goodness I thought Bobby's delivery was over rehearsed and wooden. It was awful. It overshadowed what he had to say. When you hear him speak in a spontaneous interview he is MUCH more articulate!

He may never be the orator that Obama or Palin is, and while speech making skills are certainly important, it isn't everything.

I don't think the performance will kill him.

NeNe said...

i have heard lots of positives about him. i intend to watch him and learn more about him - he's one to pay attention to I think in the coming elections!!