Wednesday, 23 March 2016 16:34

Jindal's strength, his reputation for competency, taking a big hit

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Jindal collageWhile Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal no longer has the self-imposed obligation to run a state while also running for U.S. President, the apparently unemployed former-top state official has another responsibility, perhaps of greater importance. 

He must rebuild his own reputation. 

Jindal was elected to Congress and to the governorship on the belief that the fast-talking Rhodes Scholar would be the most competent Louisiana Governor, ever.  Competency was the key theme after Hurricane Katrina and Rita overwhelmed Governor Kathleen Blanco, whose popularity went with the Katrina winds.

 Life has not been overly kind to Jindal who has been blamed for running the state’s budget into the ditch.  Yes, the current oil crises didn’t help him or Louisiana,  but has aggravated Louisiana's already-tenuous fiscal footing.  Over the past eight years under the Jindal administration, the governor and the legislature went through virtually all of its spare resources and pots of money to buffer itself in the event a crises were to occur.  Which has occurred.  Oil prices have dropped like a brick over the past two years, and with it, the state’s revenues.

The Governor’s reputation has taken a serious hit over the past weeks.  The Internet is filled with national and local articles that tear into his performance as a governor.  Some even question his sense of decency.

Here is a sample of some of the most recent comments:

The Sad Decline of Bobby Jindal

“It's depressing to see Jindal's sad and dramatic decline into perhaps the lamest politician in the contemporary GOP (which is saying something!), when he used to be one of the party's most interesting young prospects. Jindal first became famous, at least among conservative wonks, because he was a wonk's wonk. A Rhodes scholar, he was appointed in his twenties as secretary of health of Louisiana, and later, at 28, was the youngest ever president of the University of Louisiana system. As governor of one of the most infamously corrupt states in the union, he passed sweeping ethics reform. Most conservative wonks, myself very much included, saw him as a potential future president.”


John Bel Edwards' legislative agenda takes aim at Bobby Jindal's

But some of Edwards' legislative package seems specifically aimed at undoing Jindal's legacy, and not necessarily on a partisan basis. For example, the governor's package includes two bills that passed the Republican-controlled Legislature last year but were vetoed by Jindal. 

Voters blame Bobby Jindal for state's budget crisis: UNO poll

More than half of the voters in Louisiana say former Gov. Bobby Jindal is to blame for the state's financial crisis while one-quarter of voters say it's the Legislature's fault. 

After Republicans, Democrats alike disavow Bobby Jindal, what will he do next?

The whiz is gone.

For years, national reporters profiling Bobby Jindal and his political rise inevitably referred to himas a whiz kid— Rhodes scholar at 21, Cabinet secretary at 24, university system president at 28, governor at 36 in 2008.

Not anymore.

Stephanie Grace: Unpopular at home, Bobby Jindal grasps for national role

This drive to stay relevant nationally comes as Jindal’s become basically irrelevant back home in the state he governed for eight years. Or not irrelevant, exactly, but relevant in a bad way.

Jindal’s in-state approval rating has dipped as low as 20 percent. Legislative Republicans and Democrats alike blame him for the state’s budget crisis, and so do a majority of voters, according to a recent University of New Orleans poll.

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