Bobby Jindal showed this week why he needs more time before he runs on the GOP ticket.
Perhaps the “Jindal for V.P.” bumper stickers in Baton Rouge were premature.
Only a short time after John McCain invited Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to his Arizona ranch on May 24 to be screened for the veep spot along with Florida Governor Charlie Crist and rival Mitt Romney, Jindal’s youth and inexperience have begun to show.
Only 37, Jindal has been hailed as the Right’s version of Barack Obama: young, a minority, articulate, and appealing. Only, Obama doesn’t have Jindal’s long list of accomplishments.
In just his sixth month in office, he has implemented sweeping ethics reforms, cut taxes, and instituted a school choice program, among other achievements. These boasts don’t even include his turnaround of the Medicaid system as vice president of the Department of Health and Hospitals, or his 88 percent of the vote in his first congressional race.
But those who claimed Jindal is too green to help McCain in the general election were vindicated when Jindal fumbled the management of a legislative pay raise passed by the state Senate two weeks ago. This needlessly outragied his own reform constituents in Louisiana.
The pay raise would have effectively doubled state legislators’ base salaries, with future increases scheduled automatically. Although the public was, predictably, averse to such a large raise, Jindal had promised not to veto the legislation in order to facilitate other reform measures he wanted to pass through the state legislature.
When the bill passed through the house and senate by slim margins, Jindal stood back as the public outcry grew louder and louder.
On Monday Jindal reneged and vetoed the bill, the day before it would have gone into effect.
“I clearly made a mistake,” he admitted in a press release. “…as with all mistakes, you can either correct them or compound them. I chose to correct my mistake by vetoing this bill.”
JINDAL WOULD HAVE spared himself a world of trouble if he had vetoed the bill immediately. Unfortunately, over the course of the last two weeks he tried to find solutions without compromising his promise to the legislature, at the cost of increasingly acrimonious editorials and even two recall petitions.
Ryan and Kourtney Fournier of Jefferson Parish submitted a recall petition following Jindal’s announcement that, although he disapproved of the bill, he would withhold his veto.
An e-mail from the Fourniers’ website informed TAS that they felt “betrayed.” Now that he has vetoed the bill they expressed hope that the governor “can redeem himself from this point, however there are a few other matters at hand to deal with, namely salaries in his cabinet.”
Although they haven’t decided whether to retract the petition, they said that if Jindal were to accept the VP slot, it would “only show his true political motivations, and his lack of dedication to the state.”
Granted, the Fourniers have no shot at obtaining the one-third of Louisiana’s registered voters required to force a recall election. But their petition has drawn the national media’s eye to Jindal’s missteps.
Again, with a simple apology to lawmakers and a stroke of the pen on Day One, Jindal could have avoided all this trouble. It’s the kind of mistake that a little more Cajun seasoning might help to solve.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?