Perhaps the GOP has not been given enough credit. As I watched Bobby Jindal play up his background in his GOP response to Obama’s address, I couldn’t help but think that maybe Jindal was trying to capitalize on the Oscar success of Slumdog Millionaire.
Much like Dev Patel’s character in the movie, Jindal stressed that he came from humble beginnings, “As I grew up, my mom and dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country – and they instilled in me an immigrant’s wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, I remember going to the grocery store with my dad. Growing up in India, he had seen extreme poverty. And as we walked through the aisles, looking at the endless variety on the shelves, he would tell me: ‘Bobby, Americans can do anything.’ I still believe that to this day. Americans can do anything. When we pull together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome.
Jindal also played up his Obama like background, “Regardless of party, all Americans are moved by the President’s personal story – the son of an American mother and a Kenyan father, who grew up to become leader of the free world. Like the President’s father, my parents came to this country from a distant land. When they arrived in Baton Rouge, my mother was already 4 ½ months pregnant. I was what folks in the insurance industry now call a ‘pre-existing condition.’ To find work, my dad picked up the yellow pages and started calling local businesses. Even after landing a job, he could still not afford to pay for my delivery – so he worked out an installment plan with the doctor. Fortunately for me, he never missed a payment.” In other words, Jindal is just like Obama.
However, it is never a good idea for Republicans to bring up Bush administration’s failures during Hurricane Katrina, but this is exactly what Jindal did, “Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.” Somebody really needs to tell Jindal that he is insulting his own party. I have heard Jindal before, and he was laying on the Southern accent heavy tonight.
Jindal’s response was long on character, but short on ideas. In short, tax cuts for business are good, government and earmarks are bad. Drilling for oil is good, and the terrorists are coming to get us. This response could have been delivered by George W. Bush or John McCain. To me, the Republicans are still emphasizing character over politics. Most of Jindal’s remarks focused on his bio. This was Bobby Jindal being appointed as the new GOP golden boy. He reminds me of Sarah Palin. He, like Palin, has an interesting personal story, but seemingly little to offer policy wise.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association