It’s been almost a week since Marco Rubio called Bobby Jindal “one of the best governors in America,” so you should have stopped laughing by now.
Rubio could not possibly have been serious, could he? If a potential leader of the western world thinks the Jindal administration provided an example worth emulating, then we had better stock up with survival rations and hole up in the wilds.
Let us hope that Rubio having just received Jindal’s endorsement on the GOP’s propaganda arm, Fox TV, was just being polite. He could hardly, in the circumstances, point out that Jindal, after inheriting a $1 billion budget surplus, ran Louisiana into the ground.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Legislature, as they struggle to find the billions required to balance the books and retain some semblance of health care and higher education, will think Rubio’s comments a joke, albeit not a funny one.
We know, having watched Jindal indulge his own presidential delusions at our expense, that the question he tends to ask before making a move is, “What is in this for me?” If, in coming out for Rubio, he was concerned with the welfare of the Republic, it probably took second place to his own.
Now that Jindal is out of a job, a patron in the White House would come in very handy indeed, and Rubio’s response to the endorsement, if it is to be taken seriously, offers considerable encouragement.
“We’re really excited to have him on board. This is, I think, going to be a big boost to our campaign,” Rubio said. The proposition that Jindal will be a “huge asset” to the Rubio campaign may seem less absurd in other states than it does in Louisiana, but is at best a gross exaggeration. Jindal, after all, flopped big time on the presidential trail.
Nevertheless, Jindal, Rubio said, “has a very promising future in American politics.” The possibility that Rubio could make his own prediction come true with a cabinet appointment must surely have occurred to Jindal.
Jindal has rolled the dice relatively early, presumably increasing the chances of a plum in a Rubio administration. But rolling the dice when the race is still taking shape also increases the chances that they will come up boxcars. Still, Rubio was surging, and Jindal evidently liked the odds.
It was a bold bet no doubt, and these early skirmishes will be a bizarre memory by the time Republican voters decide who will take on Hillary Clinton. And Clinton it will be. That Bernie Sanders was ever regarded as a possibility will be seen as insane.
There are two sure-fire ways to win an election in America. One is to persuade voters that your opponent is a socialist, which is what Sanders calls himself. The other is to persuade voters that your opponent is too old to handle the job, and Sanders will be 75 by election day.
Clinton is not exactly a spring chicken either. She will be 69 on inauguration day, only months younger than our oldest president, Ronald Reagan, was first time round. But the only conceivable reason to suggest there is any suspense about who will be the Democratic nominee is to sell papers.
The early GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, will be 70 in June, but there is no need to cite his age in asserting that he will soon fall by the wayside. If there is a more preposterous notion than Jindal as one of the best governors in America it is Trump as presidential timber.
There are plenty of younger Republican candidates to choose from, and Jindal fails to convince when he suggests that Rubio’s policies stand out. Jindal’s main argument is that Rubio “has consistently stood up to the threat of ISIS,” when it is impossible to find a contender who favors appeasement. Otherwise, Jindal just offers the usual blather about optimistic messages and unifying the party.
Rubio did come up with the most original idea of the campaign, however. Thanks for the laugh, senator.
James Gill’s email address is email@example.com.