Thursday, February 26, 2009
After a universally panned speech, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is suddenly in danger of becoming the second GOP figure taken down by the satirical power of 30 Rock and its related stars. In quick need of a pre-2012 reboot, here's a modest proposal that the Pelican State chief executive might want to pursue to recalibrate a possible presidential path:
1. Drop the "Bobby"; embrace the "Piyush". Obama realized in college that there would never be a president "Barry." He accepted who he was -- a multicultural boy living in a multicultural world. The rest is history (that there had never been a president "Barack" either is irrelevant to this discussion).
You need to realize that it makes more sense for a "Piyush" to succeed a "Barack" than a "Bobby." (Don't let yourself be out-weird-named by a "Mitt").
2. Have an affair: At the very least lie about having an affair. You need something of an edge.
Living in Louisiana presents you with myriad opportunities, AND dangers. Governors are expected to be larger than life. They're expected to have girlfriends, gambling problems, conflicts-of-interest, etc. Heck, this is the state that featured a campaign slogan of "Vote for the Crook: It's important." (Appropriately enough crook Edwin Edwards beat racist David Duke and later went to prison for a variety of corruption offenses.)
An affair would give Jindal a hint of danger. Any subsequent pleas for forgiveness from his wife, the public (and the Catholic Church) would mark him as a vulnerable, principled man with human failings. (Oh, the other woman should probably not be too blonde/blue-eyed -- preferably Creole; this *is* still the South, after all.)
3. Pick a fight with a slightly effete goody-two-shoes Republican former governor who might be your biggest rival for the "competent, can-get-things-done" part of the Republican base (not naming any names). Paint him as slightly out of touch, pseudo-intellectual, squishy Northern governor from Massachusetts -- who tried to impose universal health care! You, on the other hand, helped reform Louisiana's health care system -- at least the hospital care portion. Go after him!
4. Go after Yukon Sarah Palin. Admit your own flaws (see above), while painting Alaska governor as being out-of-touch, practicing Addams Family Values -- and being a little too close to Russia (if you know what I mean). If Vladimir Putin wants to bring back the Evil Empire, you should hold the Diva of Nome fully responsible. Make sure that you don't make this personal. You can't appear to be beating up on a woman. Make this a national security issue. Just subtly point out that no foreign nation that you can see from your back yard has become more dangerous on your watch (for these purposes, ignore any recent problems in Mexico).
5. Become Jon Stewart's sidekick on The Daily Show. Stewart will help feel your pain -- even though he doesn't share your politics. He got very bad reviews hosting the 2008 Academy Awards. This year, the slot was given to an Aussie song-and-dance man-cum-mutant -actor. Yet, he remains at the top of his game. Does he let that unfortunate setback eat away at him? Absolutely not. He pokes fun at himself!
Governor, your path to the White House is clear.