Jindal Flubs Debut
Judging from a scan of memeorandum and my RSS feed, quite literally everyone writing about Bobby Jindal’s national coming out party, his Republican response to Obama’s non-State of the Union address, thought it was an epic fail. Indeed, seemingly everyone came to the independent conclusion that his delivery was channeling moronic page Kenneth Parcell from “30 Rock.”
It’s great news for Tina Fey: At least the cognoscenti are watching her show.
That ain’t good, however, if you’re hoping to establish yourself as a frontrunner for president in 2012.
What’s particularly interesting going through the RSS feed is that it confirms something I wrote earlier about reporting on “Remarks as Prepared for Delivery.” Namely, the reactions to the text of Jindal’s remarks were quite favorable, at least from the Republicans I read. The reactions to the speech itself were universally awful especially from the Republicans I read.
The Next Right‘s Mathew Gagnon gives the most detailed breakdown of why the speech was awful. It defies excerpting, so follow the link.
Alex Massie gives the best meta analysis of the lot:
I don’t know why Bobby Jindal, the Republican party’s Great Brown Hope, agreed to give the GOP response to Obama’s speech last night. Supposedly a privilege, this more often turns out to be a fools errand. Indeed, the only successful opposition response I can recall in recent years was given by Senator Jim Webb. Generally, however, the poor sap offered the chance to go up against the President is on a hiding to nothing: the man in charge has the full majesty of his office behind him; the opposition spokesman sits in a wee room on their own waiting for their chance to give a speech no-one is very interested in anyway…
Quite. Indeed, I’ve always thought the idea of an opposition response speech was idiotic.
It should be noted, however, that blowing this speech — assuming that the pundits’ views and public perception line up — isn’t the end of the road for Jindal. Bill Clinton’s big public debut, the 1988 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, was widely considered a bore and he came back nicely.