Gov. Bobby Jindal's standing among Louisiana's citizens is pretty darn low, and of all the potential candidates in next year's governor's race, none is closer to Jindal than Angelle.
As a new Public Policy Polling survey demonstrated, Gov. Bobby Jindal's standing among Louisiana's citizens is pretty darn low. He's probably still more popular than Ebola, but I'm not sure he'd want to go head to head with toe fungus.
As I noted in a post Wednesday,
Jindal's job approval rating is a dismal 34 percent. He'd lose to Edwin Edwards in a hypothetical governor's race, and a large majority say they wish he wouldn't run for president. And, if he should he become the GOP vice presidential nominee, a strong plurality said Jindal's presence on the ticket would make them less likely to support the Republican ticket.
Jindal may, in fact, be the least popular governor in the United States. He is certainly in the bottom two or three.
That's what makes Thursday's announcement by Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle - he says he's running for governor in 2015 - so curious. Of all the potential candidates in next year's governor's race, none is closer to Jindal than Angelle.
Is there any evidence that the people are yearning for a continuation of Jindal's policies, only now explained to them in a Cajun accent? If so, the polls certainly don't show it.
Just how close is Angelle to Jindal?
The former St. Martin Parish president served as Jindal's secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (having been first appointed to that job by Jindal's predecessor, Kathleen Blanco). Angelle also held the position of Jindal's top lobbyist to the Legislature. When then-Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu became mayor of New Orleans in 2010, Jindal appointed Angelle as the state's temporary lieutenant governor until the election of Jay Dardenne.
In 2013, Angelle left to campaign for the state's Public Service Commission, an office he won. But he remains firmly in Jindal's orbit. For all his loyalty to Jindal and his policies, the governor appointed Angelle to the LSU Board of Supervisors.
Can you name any other elected official who has been more closely associated with Bobby Jindal? I can't. There certainly won't be another candidate for governor even remotely as close to Jindal as Angelle. How and if he separates himself from a very unpopular Jindal will be interesting to watch.
Angelle might eventually catch on. He's a gifted and likeable politician, so anything is possible. If he does, it will be despite his association with Jindal.
For now, however, it's fair to say that if you want four more years of Jindal-style policies, Scott Angelle is your man.
A journalist and political historian, Robert Mann holds the Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU. He writes a weekly political column for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.