Gov. Bobby Jindal's memoir, Leadership and Crisis, will be released Nov. 15, but The Washington Post's Stephen Lowman got an early copy of the book, which originally was set to be released in July under the title Real Hope, Real Change: New Conservative Solutions to Rescue America.
The title wasn't the only change. The original cover (which may or may not have been finalized) featured a large American flag with a small inset photo of the guv, along with a co-byline by ghostwriter Peter Schweizer, who has written books about the Reagan and Bush presidential families. Schweizer's name (and the flag) are absent from the cover of Leadership and Crisis, which features a photo of Jindal striding purposefully in a sport jacket and khakis, flanked by a Louisiana state policeman and a member of the National Guard. It also features a front-cover blurb by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour ("Anyone who thinks that the Republican Party doesn't have new and innovative ideas has never met Bobby Jindal"). And, for those unfamiliar with the author, he is identified on the new cover as "Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana."
According to Lowman, the book includes the expected swipes at President Barack Obama and his administration for their handling of the BP oil disaster as well as a chapter titled "Do We Really Want to Be Like Europe?". (Answer: no.)
Of particular interest to Louisiana political watchers will be a section called "Men Behaving Badly," which limns wayward politicos of both parties, including John Ensign, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, John Edwards and Bill Clinton — though one obvious addition to the list, Sen. David Vitter, seems to have slipped Jindal's mind.
Another omission from that list: former Speaker of the House and Republican resurgent Newt Gingrich, who provided a nice back-cover blurb for Jindal, calling him "one of the most talented, reform-minded governors in the nation." Other back-cover backscratchers include Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Democratic strategist James Carville, but one blurber comes out of left field (or perhaps the backfield): New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, who says, "If you are looking for a take-charge guy, a leader who understands the need for quick, strong and decisive action, look no further than Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal." — Kevin Allman