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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The national press performs its autopsy on Gov. Bobby Jindal's presidential campaign

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 5:35 PM

click to enlarge Gov. Bobby Jindal. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Bobby, we barely knew ye ... but you've got a friend at the National Review, who thought you were the best candidate in the field ...

The Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza comes to praise Jindal, saying that when he first spoke with gubernatorial candidate Jindal 12 years ago, “he was one of the most impressive candidates for any office that I had ever met.” Cilizza also calls him “a guy with real policy chops and, unlike many policy-oriented elected officials, a nuanced understanding of politics” — and then Cilizza buries him: “The presidential campaign Jindal actually ran, which ended Tuesday, was the opposite of the one I — and lots and lots of other political types — thought he would: It was a careening pander-fest in which Jindal chased news cycles relentlessly by seemingly trying to make the most outlandish and over-the-top statement possible to stand out.” ...

Alex Pappas of The Daily Caller reports Jindal decided to drop out Nov. 16, one day before he made the announcement on Fox News. Pappas was in on a conference call with Jindal advisors after the announcement, and cites their pique at the debate rules (using national instead of state polls to determine eligibility), as well as their allusions to Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Pappas quotes Jindal’s chief campaign strategist, Curt Anderson: “It’s been a bizarre race.” What he said …

“Jindal’s campaign was a political misadventure from the start,” wrote Sean Illing, the former Louisiana State University politics professor-turned-staff writer at He took a Louisiana perspective on Jindal's tenure in office vis-a-vis his presidential bid. “What’s unlikely to receive the attention it deserves, at least in the national press, is the concrete costs of Jindal’s doomed campaign," Illing wrote. "If you don’t live in Louisiana, it’s impossible to appreciate just how devastating his governorship has been. It would be bad enough if Jindal were simply incompetent, if he tried and failed to manage his state. ... He pursued short-term gains, stopgap measures, and political gimmicks that produced talking points for his Iowa speeches but left Louisiana in tatters.” ...

Surprisingly, it was that had more praise for Jindal than most: “The young, deeply religious Louisiana governor had smarts, deep conservative credentials and clear ambition,” Jane C. Timm wrote. “A wonky social conservative, Jindal had a policy alternative for everything from taxes to Obamacare ... But in a race dominated by Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, flooded by social conservatives and fixated on political outsiders, nothing about the articulate Southerner stuck.” (Always a compliment to call a Southerner “articulate.”) ...

“A Stupid GOP Electorate Takes a Pass on the Best Governor in the 2016 Field” was the headline on the National Review’s “Morning Jolt with Jim Geraghty.” “Alright. I’m ready to just burn down the primary process,” Geraghty fumed. “Do you why [sic] I was such a big Bobby Jindal fan? Look at the condition of his state the day he took office, and look at the condition of his state now. Yes, Jindal’s approval rating is way below its peak, and two-thirds of Louisianans think the state is headed in the wrong direction. I’ll explain more on that in a bit.” And Geraghty probably did, but few finished reading it ...

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