Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:34

Jindal's Book On Obama, BP: Crises, Leadership Gone

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The airplane engine buzz hovering over Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s latest travels are raising questions that hopefully our busy chief executive might one day answer--assuming he has the time to focus on matters other than TV appearances and book signings.

When he gets back from the brutish tour helping to make the nation more literate, the one BIG question I have relates to his main motive for jumping into the national debate. Which really dominates—his attempts to cash in early and even get personal benefits from the BP oil spill tragedy or his burning desire to help the nation and in doing so be Louisiana’s ambassador?

Initially, the title of his life story focused upon “hope”, patterned after the Obama’s mantra. Now, it’s “crises and leadership” as fate or the BP oil spill might have it.

Actually, this spring, the Governor suddenly announced the suspension of his “hope” book-- not that he did not have any hope that Louisiana would not return from the oil sludge. But at some point in time, it appears he decided to lift the book suspension, then started to write his memoirs, did a switcheroo went from introducing himself and his philosophy to the world, he decided to cast a bold light on the BP oil spill. Apparently, at some point, the Gov must have felt that his efforts during that emergency to beat back the “lackadaisical” forces of the feds and President Obama were too much of a story to pass up.

The chronology of that turnaround is important. On May 23, I attended a Sunday afternoon press conference in Venice Louisiana days after writing a critical column about—guess what? His book. I felt his narrative would be sending an awful message to the state and nation. I felt the very last thing the Louisiana governor should be doing at that moment in time when oil was beginning to hit the beaches and the brush, when the legislature was in apoplexy, when businesses were closing by the boatload, when our budget was having a bad time keeping afloat--would be for our state’s top leader to spend time completing and then hawking his view on life.

The news conference was one of those events that major international news organizations attended given the uncertainties of the Gulf Of Mexico dramas.

Jindal’s press secretary asked me if I was going to ask a question and if it was going to be about the book. I told Kyle Plotkin that I did have a question, that I would not be asking about the book. I also responded that hopefully the governor would consider taking that column’s recommendations to heart as good advice and not criticism.

A few days later, I read that indeed the book was under suspension and that it would not be released in mid-July as previously touted. Obviously, others felt the same as I did.

Ok, now, fast forward: In October, I discovered that Jindal would be releasing the book in November but the name would change and apparently so would a major part of its main focus.

So, obviously, the question I have is—why the sudden change? More particularly, when was the book writing moratorium lifted and why? What prompted Jindal to go full speed ahead with his written words to the nation?

It seems plausible, if not just darn very probable that at some point in time, Governor Jindal would have given the go-ahead on his life’s story while many of us figured he had many and much more important things to do during time of the BP War.

So, let me wonder out loud—just when did Governor Jindal decide to change course, write the book after suspending it and change the focus to a national issue which had been the talk of the world during the spring and summer of 2010, an event that will be forever bookmarked into world history.

Did Jindal’s daily efforts--urging Obama and the feds to do their jobs, reminding all that Louisiana did not have a second to spare since we were at “war” with stopping the spill—become shared with his efforts to document and tell a compelling story that will ultimately make him richer and more politically viable in the national arena? If indeed those efforts did join in the same place in time, when did they occur?

When Jindal spoke to Obama about the food stamps (the now famous dialogue that all the mainstream (and of course Fox News) are drooling over as headlines, I wonder who else knew about that conversation? His chief of staff? His press secretary? How about his writers and publisher? Why are we just finding out about that conversation months after it occurred and now only as a part of the main story line to “Crises and Leadership”?

Let me put it another way—instead of popping the beans on Obama when the event occurred or even shortly thereafter when the world media was Jindal’s daily oyster, when all of us could have discussed the issue during the light of day when it really mattered, why did the Louisiana Governor wait to disclose this juicy news item until the moments before his book would hit the shelves?

Governor Jindal claims that President Obama was more concerned about his own image than the families of Louisiana, and indeed, the governor just might be right. But, it is certainly fair to ask whether Jindal’s own actions and decisions regarding this disaster, in any way, were colored by the words he would be shortly putting on paper or on computer disk for our later reading consumption?

So, curious minds want to know exactly when did Jindal decide to crank up the writing juices and make the BP oil spill a major focus for his book. Surely, it must have crossed someone’s mind that the BP element would separate his personal experiences from the rest of the political best sellers seeking readers and voters?

Also, curious minds want to know about the affairs of his chief of staff, Timmy Teepell, apparently the man on the book’s front cover. Questions such as when was that picture taken and for what purpose? Who took the picture in the first place? Was it the author? The book’s photographer? Why did Jindal and the publishers use that one when thousands of photos captured the moment? Keep in mind, Jindal allowed his chief of staff campaign leave the BP war front at the peak of oil gushing activity so Teepell (the Fundraiser In Chief) could pal around with national republican governors, whose political campaigns Jindal later supported during his last national tour of duty on his road to picking up national campaign chits.

So, perhaps the real mystery of the book just might be that while at the very time the governor was scolding the feds and Obama in front of national audience for failing to perform their jobs, Jindal just might have had another job and other motives. That being, a regular stint distilling his frustrations and his thoughts about the President’s “lackadaisical efforts” so the truth would become history as part of his best seller.

As I continue to ponder about the future fate of one man named Jindal, I once again recall those days of the past when a younger and perhaps more hopeful governor said so eloquently during his inauguration, “You have often heard me say that we do not have a poor state, but a state with poor leadership. That we do not have a state stuck in the past, but leaders who were unconcerned with the future.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can all agree that too many of the stereotypes rang true.

In our past, too many politicians looked out for themselves. Too many arms of state and local government did not get results. And the world took note.”

Actually, those words are rather prophetic. Right now, the world is taking note of Governor Jindal. And, some are so impressed they wonder just when he will be president or a major national leader? And others are wondering just when he will be governor? And even some are wondering if his real motives are hurting him be either?

by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of

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Nov 14

Is Louisiana Governor Jindal Playing Out His Next Job Options


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