The Perry Effect

by Heather Miller

The Times Picayune's Stephanie Grace explores Gov. Bobby Jindal's loyalty to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's tumbling presidential campaign.

With Texas Gov. Rick Perry now trailing far behind his opponents in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, it's pretty clear that Gov. Bobby Jindal's support of our neighboring governor has had little, if any, impact on Perry's self-destructing campaign.

But as Times-Picayune political columnist Stephanie Grace points out in her latest column, the losing ticket hasn't stopped Jindal from taking full, televised advantage of Perry's continued blunders on the campaign trail.

Joining Perry on an Iowa bus tour this week, Jindal had to correct Perry when asked a question about Perry's own tax plan, according to The T-P, which by simple comparison has Jindal "outshining Perry without breaking a sweat:"

And when Jindal told a town hall audience that he's supporting Perry for five reasons, he remembered to mention all of them. I doubt Perry will ever again promise a numbered list again, not after his painfully legendary debate flub, when he vowed to abolish three Cabinet agencies but could only name two.

What's worth remembering is who was out there watching Jindal outperform Perry. There were the Republican voters of Iowa, whose next caucus is a mere four years down the road. And there were the national political reporters and conservative pundits, who are watching every moment of this campaign and play a big role in deciding who lands on the "to-watch" lists.

In his typical under-radar style, Jindal's doing his part to stoke the attention. His office has produced a five-page, single-spaced list entitled "Louisiana Turnaround -- The Untold Story." It's jam-packed with laws Jindal pushed and rankings that reflect well on the state but leaves out some of the messy details of governing. It notes that Jindal signed the largest income tax cut in state history, for example, but skips right over the part about how he only supported it to stop a runaway Legislature from passing an even more draconian cut.

Read Grace's full column here.