Fresh off criticizing U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for "spending too much time in Washington D.C." (where she works), Gov. Bobby Jindal last week made the trek to the nation's capitol (where he doesn't work) to deliver a speech at the Gridiron Club Dinner, a chummy annual affair at which members of the D.C. press corps and the politicos they cover make fun of each other. By all accounts, it was far better received than Jindal's notorious 2009 response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress, and Jindal led off by acknowledging that disaster, saying, "I appreciate this opportunity to try to be funny on purpose.
"Some people have asked me if I intend to run for president in 2016," Jindal told the Beltway crowd. "And the answer is that I have no plans to run. I've made that clear, over and over again ... in Iowa ... in New Hampshire ... and in South Carolina." From there, Jindal launched into a set of jokes poking fun at his Indian-American heritage and race in general:
"When I first went to Congress, I would always get asked by friends: 'Hey, have you met my friend, Congressman So-and-So?' So I of course responded: 'I don't know, all white people look alike to me.'
"I ran into [Vice President] Joe Biden earlier today. I don't think he recognized me, though. He asked me to go get him a Slurpee."
The speech had one high-profile fan: Obama, who told the crowd, "I thought Bobby was incredibly funny this evening. I thought he was terrific." Though the evening was closed to press coverage, Jindal aides shared copies of the speech on social media. — Kevin Allman