Friday, February 27, 2009


We shouldn't underestimate Piyush "Bobby" Jindal. He reminds me of the younger Bill Clinton. He's smart, adaptable, & has bounced back from political defeat. Clinton gave a bad speech at the 1988 Dem convention that convinced many he was not presidential material. Clinton also was governor of a Southern state with a reputation for corrupt politics. Jindal will examine everything he did wrong on Tuesday night. Jindal's weakness is that he doesn't yet have a record as governor to run on nationally. Like every other governor, he has to lead his state through an economic downturn. He has to avoid political scandal. He has to show improvement in New Orleans, & that requires accepting lots of federal bucks. He ought to duck back under the national media radar, take care of Louisiana business, quietly work the constituencies he'll need to win in a Repug presidential primary - they aren't his for the taking. He let the Repugs use him poorly as a token person-of -color, & he got burned. I doubt he'll let it happen again. If he learns anything from Obama, it should be to not allow his national party to determine his image or dictate his role.

Bobby Jindal is smarter than Sarah Palin, but even she could put the words "volcano" & "monitoring" together & guess the meaning - as Alaska's Mount Redoubt rumbles & steams. Other factors weight against Piyush becoming president. He's a peculiar person from a peculiar state, & the last time we had one of those was Calvin Coolidge of Vermont. We're unlikely to replace a minority president with another minority president. & a substantial percentage of the protestant right must suspect Piyush is a Hindu at heart. For them, it's great that he's born again, but he wasn't born or raised Christian. His adolescent conversion to Roman Catholicism was a huge lateral leap from Hinduism, & savvy decision for someone perhaps already dreaming of a political career in Louisiana. He'd have a lock on the other half-dozen Indian-American Catholic converts in '12 if he quit hanging out with holy rollers.


I heard that this guy attended a madrassa in Mumbai run by Osama Bin Whats-his-name ;-)
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