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|Jindal's going prime time|
While much to do has been made about Gov. Bobby Jindal being tapped to offer the Republican Party response to the president's speech to a joint session of the Congress next week, people who have observed Jindal for some time now know he's more than capable of delivering a first-rate performance when it matters.
And it will matter on Fat Tuesday when Jindal talks to millions of viewers via television and the Internet. It will matter because Jindal's delivery of the GOP rebuttal will mark the first time the young governor will command a national audience. Speaking live to millions of people, though, is a bit different than talking to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Six Pack, or faithful followers and the like, in Benton or Crowville or Denham Springs or Mamou or Monroe or Vidalia.
Yet, the decision makers at the national Republican Party apparently feel it's time to roll Jindal out for the world to see. He's a comer in national politics, a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 or beyond. Moreover, it's obvious the GOP -- reeling from catastrophic losses in the last two election cycles -- believes Jindal offers a stark contrast to Obamamania.
It's within reason to assume many viewers who tune in for Obama's first ever State of the Union speech will tune out once Jindal appears. That's okay. The folks who are enthralled with Obama are not exactly what we would describe as likely Republican voters.
That brings us to this point.
Jindal's prime time debut needs to accomplish two things.
No. 1, he must offer a strong rebuttal to everything Obama. No. 2, he must make a good impression on die-hard Republicans, who have been scouring the landscape as of late in search of a new leader or a fresh face. A new generation of leadership, if you will.
However, the exposure Jindal will receive from his national debut will produce pitfalls, or problems, for the governor as well.
Once Jindal is unveiled nationally -- presented as an alternative to Obama -- his record in Louisiana will be scrutinized by the national Democratic Party and its friends in the national media. You can bank on it.
Every decision Jindal and/or one of his appointees have ever made will be studied, and every consequence that resulted from those decisions will be nit-picked beyond reason. You can bank on that, too.
Remember, the Democratic Party and its friends at ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC have a great deal at stake in Obama and the new president's administration. In other words, they literally created Obama's career. Now they've got to protect him.
And protect Obama they will. At all costs.
At all costs also means Jindal's pursuit to implement policies in Louisiana most likely will run into more resistance from now on. The resistance here will surface among Democrats from all walks of life in the state, including the state Democratic Party, for they will be directed by their counterparts in Washington to make life as miserable as possible for our Republican governor. You can bank on that as well.
That should not be interpreted that Jindal shouldn't do the deal on Fat Tuesday. No, Jindal's coming out party will do the state's image some good. After all, Louisiana has had its fair share of elected officials making the national news over an indictment or a conviction for one crime or another.
Instead, Louisiana will be presented in a positive light thanks to Jindal's decision to pursue the presidency.
And that's exactly what all of the fuss is about.
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