Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
BOBBY JINDAL VS SARAH PALIN
For most of us living along the Gulf Coast, national politics has not been of major concern in the past week. Our focus has been post-Gustav and pre- Ike. Many homes did not have electricity in the waning days after Gestalt’s demise, so few were able to spend any time watching the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Sarah who?
About the best I was able to do was to take an occasional look from my Clear Channel radio studio to catch a glimpse of my oldest kid on CNN, just to be sure she looked healthy. So last Sunday morning, with a generator riving up my small portable television set with rabbit ears, I sat back with the morning papers and listened to the Sunday morning talk shows.
Barrack Obama started off on ABC’s "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. Talk about Mr. excitement. He rambled, hesitated, and could not been more diffident and blaze. When it came to the puzzling McCain pick of Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President, Obama was asked whether she met the minimum test of being "capable of being president?" You would have thought he would have jumped on that one. His answer? "Well, you know, I'll let you ask John McCain when he's on ABC.” Some knock out punch.
Stephanopoulos went on to ask Obama's reaction to an attack on him by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the Republican convention. "He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics,” said the former New York Mayor. Well, didn’t McCain jump full force into Arizona politics when he "chose" this state to go and run for office? All the candidates were involved in party machine politics. So how did Obama come back full force with an aggressive in-your-face answer? "It's a real puzzling thing." he said in a laid-back fashion. Some tough response.
Then it was time to look for Sarah. I had seen a lot of her on the Internet. Well, at least airbrushed photographs that had been e-mailed to me from friends across the country. I did listen to her well rehearsed acceptance speech in Minneapolis, obviously written by the McCain campaign. But I wanted to hear from the lady herself. The successes she'd had as the Alaska Governor. What she knows about foreign-policy. Is she qualified to step in as president if necessary to succeed her 72-year-old standard-bearer?
Now the other three national candidates (McCain, Obama, and Biden) all showed up for tough questioning on various Sunday news shows. But Palin was nowhere to be found. When McCain's campaign manager was asked on Fox news why she was a no-show, he made no bones about the fact that the Republican vice presidential nominee would not be available to the press "until they showed a willingness to treat her with some level of respect and deference." Respect? Deference? I can just hear Governor Bobby Jindal saying he will not be available to answer any questions until he has been given "deference" by the press.
All in all, it was a pretty bland Sunday for both political parties. The general public is just starting to get interested in the "sizing up process" of these candidates. Seems like it should be time for some straight talk, and certainly making the candidates available for questions. Hurricane coverage proved to be a lot more interesting.
Speaking of Bobby Jindal, his political star continues to rise without even attending the Republican national convention. There is almost universal agreement throughout the state that Jindal did a yeoman’s job in micromanaging both the pre storm preparation, and the post storm recovery of Gustav. And his efforts are being acknowledged across the nation.
A Sunday column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune speculated on who Republican political insiders might possibly nominate in 2012 if McCain loses this time. We're talking about President now. The two names at the top of the list? Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal. According to the column, "Hurricane Gustav, a storm and seemed almost as kind Republicans in 2008 as Katrina was nasty and 2005, may have said another GOP governor's career are rising trajectory. Watch out for Louisiana's Bobby Jindal."
A California political consultant, John Pitney, was quoted in papers throughout the country in saying that Gustav enhanced Jindal’s chances of being the Republican presidential candidate in 2016 -- or even 2012 if McCain is not elected. "In either scenario," Pitney said, “Jindal will almost automatically be the front runner."
And conservative magazine “Politics and Critical Thinking” is already ballyhooing a Palin-Jindal ticket if McCain is elected and decides not to run for a second term. A quote from the publication stated: "If McCain does not run in 2012, where does that leave Sarah Palin? Obviously running for the Perez, but who would she run with? More than likely Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana."
But what if the McCain/Palin ticket looses? Would Bobby Jindal in the coming months dare venture out of Louisiana and consider building bridges for a national run in the future? For President of the United States?
Well here’s a hint. The Republican candidate for governor in the state of Washington is Dino Rossi. If you are unsure of your geography, Washington is up in the far northwest, halfway across the country. Rossi has his major fund raiser at the Bellevue Hilton Hotel in downtown Seattle next weekend. And guess who the principal speaker will be? Bobby Jindal. Hummmm.
"It's probably not a good idea to be chewing on a toothpick if you're talking to the president, because what if he tells a funny joke and you laugh so hard you spit the toothpick out and it hits him in the face or something." Jack Hand
Peace and Justice.
Jim Brown’s column appears weekly, and is published on a number of newspapers and websites throughout Louisiana. You can read past columns by going to Jim’s website at www.jimbrownla.com. Jim’s regular radio show on WRNO, 995fm out of New Orleans can be heard each Sunday from 11:00 am till 1:00 pm.