In a book due out later this month, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal makes a case for why he thinks he should be elected president in 2016 — all wrapped in tales from history.
“American Will: The Forgotten Choices That Changed Our Republic — And Offer Lessons For Its Future” is Jindal’s second book. The Advocate received an advance copy of the book, which is scheduled to be released Oct. 20.
The book bounces between stories from the 1700s to the 1990s, each chapter wrapped up with direct hits to “the Left” and policies with which Jindal disagrees.
“The challenge for conservatives is to remind skeptics that our philosophy did not arise from a vacuum,” Jindal writes.
Neither of Jindal’s books has been an autobiography. His first, “Leadership and Crisis,” published in 2010, dealt with the response to the BP oil spill and other emergencies as governor. At the time of the first book’s release, some speculated that Jindal was setting up a run for president in 2012, which the governor denied.
“American Will” makes its intentions clear. It’s unabashedly the book of a presidential candidate. During the introduction, Jindal writes of the five principles he will stress in the book and “which I hope will be the primary principles candidates discuss during the 2016 campaign.”
Jindal formally launched his 2016 campaign in June. Since then, he has spent considerable time in Iowa, which is central to his campaign strategy. Jindal returned to Baton Rouge on Friday after several days in Iowa but is scheduled to return Tuesday for another weeklong stretch.
Over the past week, he has taken aim at Republican rivals U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, and GOP front-runner Donald Trump, of New York. His campaign also has taken aim at the GOP and CNBC for ground rules it recently set for an Oct. 28 debate. Jindal polls nationally below the criteria to make it to the main debate stage and without a large surge in the coming weeks, would be relegated to an earlier “undercard” debate for a third time.
Previously referred to as “Hinges of History,” Jindal’s book is listed at $18.99 on Amazon.com. While it’s rooted in history, “American Will” is decidedly today, peppered with references to the Islamic State and the 2016 campaign and digs at Democrats Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.
“I do not know what the next great crossroads will be for me in my personal life, but I have no doubt that the next great crossroads for our country will be the presidential election of 2016,” he writes. “I hope the heroes of ‘American Will’ illustrate the courage, faith and vision that the United States needs in 2016, and I hope its antagonists illustrate the liberal dogmatism, naiveté and folly that so jeopardize our nation’s future.”
One chapter serves as a folksy recounting of Edwin Drake’s oil discovery in the 1800s — the first successful drill for oil. After telling Drake’s story, the chapter hales modern-day American entrepreneurs and slams Democratic energy policies and the Obama administration.
“When common sense triumphs over left-wing ideology, remarkable things happen,” Jindal writes. “The spirit and vision of Drake and the thousands of energy entrepreneurs who followed in his footsteps can unleash a second energy revolution, unshackled by Washington.”
It devotes an entire chapter to Clinton’s failed push for health care reform in the 1990s, which Jindal segues into a critique of the federal Affordable Care Act implemented under Obama.
He takes aim at his own party — one of the themes that has become central to his campaign.
“We need to be a party of solutions, and until we are, we will be, to a degree, the stupid party,” Jindal writes, calling back to his 2013 remarks, which he says were directed at “the party elites.”
He praises conservative hero and former President Ronald Reagan. He recalls the Hobby Lobby fight over the federal health care law’s contraception mandate.
He even works in mentions of education reform in Louisiana.
The book is meticulously cited, with a 14-page index and more than 20 pages of footnotes.
Former GOP consultants Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn, who founded the literary agency Javelin with an eye on politicians last year, are acknowledged as co-authors. Latimer, a contributor to Politico, has written columns on the presidential race.
Jindal also acknowledges his chief campaign strategists, Curt Anderson and Timmy Teepell, in the book, and the book is dedicated to his wife, Supriya, and their three children.