"Despite a dimmed star, Bobby Jindal joins GOP presidential field; La. governor has taken heat for budget shortfall" by Manny Fernandez New York Times June 25, 2015
KENNER, La. — Governor Bobby Jindal, who became Louisiana’s first nonwhite governor since Reconstruction but whose popularity has plummeted as the state struggled with a $1.6 billion shortfall, announced Wednesday that he is running for president in 2016.
Jindal, 44, who became the nation’s first Indian-American governor when he took office in 2008, joins the crowded field of Republican contenders in what even his supporters call a long-shot candidacy in which he faces several disadvantages.
He announced his run online.
Jindal has kept a low profile on the national stage compared with Jeb Bush, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and other Republican candidates and likely candidates whose every move generates political buzz and headlines. And his poll numbers have fallen sharply in his home state as he nears the end of his eight-year tenure, amid criticism he has been more focused on laying the groundwork for a presidential run than on Louisiana’s fiscal troubles.
Seems to happen to all governors.
Jindal’s announcement later in the day in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner comes two days after the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found him sharing the bottom of a list of 16 candidates. In the telephone survey, zero percent of Republican primary voters said Jindal was their top pick to be the nominee, compared with Bush, who earned 22 percent.
That would be a joke were it not so scary and sad.
Low support in national polls may have especially dire consequences for lesser-known Republicans: Fox News and CNN are limiting the first two major debates to candidates who rank in the top 10 in national polls, meaning that Jindal could be excluded from crucial nationally televised face-offs with his rivals.
“I don’t think anybody in Louisiana thinks he can win,” said Roy Fletcher, a Republican political consultant in Baton Rouge who was deputy campaign manager for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2000. “It’s a real, real long shot.”
If there is an opening for Jindal to rise to the top tier of candidates, it will likely have to do with whether he can rally and inspire social conservatives and evangelical Christians on a national scale.
He could heal them! Maybe not such a long shot after all.
Last month, Jindal issued an executive order to protect those who do not support same-sex marriage after the Louisiana Legislature effectively killed a similarly worded bill.
Already acting like a dictator, 'er, president.
Jindal, who was raised by Hindu parents but converted to Roman Catholicism, supports abortion restrictions, has raised doubts about evolution, and signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which critics said opened a back door to teaching creationism in public schools.
“Jindal’s poll numbers in Louisiana right now are atrocious, and most Louisianians don’t think he has much chance of winning the presidency, but anybody who writes off Bobby Jindal could end up with egg on his face,” said Quin Hillyer, a longtime conservative columnist who served as press secretary for former representative Bob Livingston of Louisiana.
Jindal’s drop in popularity in Louisiana is a reversal of fortune of sorts. He was elected in October 2007 largely in reaction to the failures of his Democratic predecessor in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, then-governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.
And he had the reputation of a kind of wonky boy genius. At age 24 in 1996, he was appointed secretary of the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the biggest department in state government, and he quickly went to work cutting jobs and slashing its budget.
At age 33 in 2004, he was elected to Congress from the New Orleans suburbs after losing to Blanco one year earlier in his first bid for governor. At age 36 in 2007, he ran for governor again and won, becoming the nation’s youngest governor.
Related: In record deal, BP would pay $18.7 billion in gulf oil spill
Hey, how's 2% for a fine grab you!
And government is crowing about it while handing out even deeper drilling permits.
Meanwhile, beneath all the sludge....
Yet over two terms, Jindal’s approval ratings in the state have dipped after his handling of the state’s budget woes.
In the midst of lower unemployment and economic recovery. Wow.
Policy experts and lawmakers blamed the state’s worst budget shortfall in decades in part on the downturn in oil prices that hurt Louisiana and other energy-producing states and in part on the fiscal policies pushed by Jindal’s administration.
Hey, that was the price for squeezing Iran and Russia.
Jindal and his aides defended his record and his tax-credit plan, saying the budget that passed protected higher education and health care.
"Bobby Jindal takes long-shot White House bid to New Hampshire" by Akilah Johnson Globe Staff June 25, 2015
MANCHESTER, N.H. — In his first official campaign visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state since formally running for president, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana addressed a small crowd Thursday at the ever-popular Politics & Eggs forum, giving a speech that largely mirrored his announcement address.
Jindal recounted his parent’s story of immigrating to the United States from India in search of the American Dream, ran down highlights of his tenure as governor — including cutting 30,000 state jobs — and jabbed at the “political elites” in both parties.
That first one might not play well given all that is going on regarding that issue, especially when the jobs have been outsourced there and Indian immigrants with government work visas have come here, and that last one jabbed the very people responsible. Ha!
But a number of the governor’s comments focused on health care, an interest for Jindal that predates the Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to reject a challenge to the federal health care law.
“I see that the president is declaring victory today,” Jindal told the crowd of about 100 people seated at Saint Anselm College’s Institute of Politics. “The Supreme Court has ruled that one part of the law is not unconstitutional. Well, yippee. This is now success? So if Congress were to double our taxes tomorrow, and the Supreme Court said that wasn’t unconstitutional — that would be success?”
The Affordable Care Act “puts bureaucrats between doctors and their patients,” creates an expensive entitlement program, and forces people into Medicaid, Jindal said. Conservatives must continue to call not only for repealing the law but for replacing it as well, he continued.
He's right there, and I say leave it to states. I know Obama has been saying its etched in stone now, but repeal only needs a Republican president. I say leave it to the states because while I was once a believer I don't trust this government to do anything. Look at the VA.
“If I’m elected president, I would have four objectives. First would be repealing and replacing Obamacare,” said Jindal, who at age 24 was appointed secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. (Supporters of the law argue it guarantees health care for the country’s population through, in many cases, federal programs.)
He said his three other objectives would be national defense, growing the private-sector economy, and immigration.
Jindal’s political rise occurred well before his 40th birthday. In 2004, he was elected to Congress at age 33, and he was voted into the corner office three years later, becoming the nation’s youngest governor.
His parents moved to Baton Rouge from India more than 40 years ago, he said, without ever having been on an airplane and knowing little about the city to which they were moving. They immigrated so his mother could attend Louisiana State University and his father could get a job.
“It still gives me goose bumps,” the Brown University graduate said. “There was no Internet back then. They couldn’t go online and Google ‘Baton Rouge’ and see what it was like. They were coming to an idea as much as they were coming to a geographical place. They were coming to the idea of freedom and opportunity.”
Part of that ideal was fully embracing American culture and identity, he said, repeating a line from his announcement speech about his tiring of “hyphenated Americans.”
“My parents, they are proud of their Indian heritage, but if they wanted to raise their children as Indians they would have stayed in India,” he said Thursday. “So I say no more Indian-Americans, no more African-Americans, no more Irish-Americans, no more rich-Americans, no more poor-Americans. We’re all Americans.”
Jindal subsequently became the punch line of numerous jokes on Twitter, where the hashtag #Jindalissowhite became popular in India, according to published reports in BuzzFeed and other outlets.
A conservative Catholic who converted from Hinduism, Jindal also touched on the importance of religious tolerance and freedom, though in more tempered ways in religiously moderate New Hampshire than in Iowa, another early voting state.
Where does he stand on the stars and bars?
Polls show New Hampshire is one of the least religious states in the country, while Iowa’s GOP primary includes an influential evangelical Christian contingent. Jindal has spent much of his recent political travel to Iowa to court these voters.
“One of the things you may have seen coming out of DC is an unprecedented assault on our freedoms” he said. “One of the most egregious assaults is an assault our First Amendment rights, our religious liberty rights. Unfortunately, the left is now wanting to take God out of the public square. Unfortunately, the left no longer understands that our First Amendment rights, our religious liberty rights, are fundamental to our freedom of speech and freedom of association.”
But will he wave a flag?
Jindal spent nearly as much time answering questions from those in attendance as he did talking — about 20 minutes for each.
He was asked about the reality of repealing and replacing the federal health care law now that the Supreme Court has ruled, reforming Social Security, supporting harbor maintenance funding, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Amy Carnevale, a member of the Massachusetts State Republican Committee who drove up to Manchester for Thursday’s forum, asked Jindal about a federal program that requires ports, harbors, and other waterways to pay into a maintenance fund.
“I was very impressed with his knowledge of the program,” she said afterward. “His knowledge is far beyond what other elected officials typically would express.”
Not even a past campaign link to find, and I'm done laughing.
UPDATE: Court won’t require air conditioning on Louisiana death row
His campaign is near death.