|A July 8 analysis of the Vitter-Jindal feud in New Republic concludes that the U.S. senator is winning in popularity and influence, what seemed an unlikely scenario only a few years ago.|
New Republic went digging into the bitter rivalry between Gov. Bobby Jindal and (wannabe governor) U.S. Sen. David Vitter. What the publication found is that there are two Republican factions in the state, one supporting the governor and the other Vitter, concluding what the rest of us in the state already know: Vitter is winning the popularity contest.What makes their rivalry particularly noteworthy is that Vitter-who has been the butt of many more and much better jokes than Jindal's-may now be more popular and influential in the Louisiana Republican Party. This doesn't just testify to Vitter's underrated political skills; it also pulls back the curtain on Jindal's overrated ones. While Jindal was traveling the country, giving speeches on fixing the Republican Party and stoking presidential and vice presidential speculation, Vitter, who once seemed so isolated and politically vulnerable, was quietly and carefully courting influence in the state GOP.
Now, it's Jindal who is isolated and vulnerable. His approval rating has plummeted after voters revolted against his handling of the state's budget crisis. Other Republicans in Louisiana describe a governor so cut off from his party that he and his team operate "like a cult."
Marin Cogan, a contributing writer at GQ who penned the piece for New Republic, says neither Jindal nor Vitter's offices would discuss their relationship on the record, and most other political insiders didn't want to attach their names to details of the tension between the state's two most powerful Republicans.
Still, Cogan gives a terrific analysis of the future of these two leaders, and Jindal's doesn't look so bright. It's well worth reading. Check it out here.