Nathan Stubbs

Has Jindal lost touch with his roots?

by Nathan Stubbs

Gov. Bobby Jindal has gotten all the national exposure an enterprising young governor could hope for. Problem is, it only seems to have taken the wind out of his sail. With state treasurer John Kennedy stealing the headlines back home, Jindal's star continues to diminish on the national stage. Last week, Jindal, who not long ago was viewed as a frontrunner for the GOP's top ticket in 2012, placed seventh in the Values Voter Summit straw poll - the first significant barometer for aspiring presidential candidates, behind both old hats like Newt Gingrich and newcomers like Indiana state Rep. Mike Pence.

In an editorial in yesterday's Times Picayune, Stephanie Grace writes that if she were advising Louisiana's jet-setting governor (who happens to be darting off to Virginia today to headline a fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell), she would advise focusing more on the day-to-day activities of being governor:

I’d suggest that Jindal take some time out and think about how he got elected governor in the first place. In rising quickly through Louisiana’s political ranks, Jindal didn’t just play to the right, although he did do that. He also successfully wooed the center. He courted not just churchgoers and tea-partyers, but business groups and editorial boards. He took positions that appealed not just to ideologues, but to pragmatists as well.

If I were advising Jindal, I’d recommend that he return to his roots as a Republican who is willing to cross party lines and seek the sort of sensible policy solutions that can draw wide support. Doing so would make Jindal a better national candidate, if that’s what he wants to be.
And in the meantime, it would also make him a better governor.