[StBernard] Gubernatorial Opponents Mock Jindal During Louisiana Debate In New Orleans

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Oct 2 23:38:01 EDT 2007

Gubernatorial Opponents Mock Jindal During Louisiana Debate In New Orleans
Written by: Stephen Sabludowsky

WDSU ran a Gubernatorial debate buffet and it was an event that Bobby
Jindal should have been present since, in many respects, he was the main

In a peppering of questions by questionmeister, Norman Robinson, the three
main opponents had a chance on television, with a relatively decent audience
to shine, spread their respective words and shred Bobby Jindal, at least for
the evening.

Which is exactly what happens when you decide not to compete, as in this
case, Jindal once again refused to debate and showcase to a large New
Orleans area audience.

Unquestionably, Jindal had a chance to be a "rock star" for the WDSU debate,
but declined. The panelists took advantage of his absence and put forward
their own respective agendas, but, make no mistake about it, they seized
every opportunity available to be display contempt for the missing man.

Interestingly, the audience at UNO where the debate was held applauded in
agreement for it appeared they felt that Jindal held them in contempt for
not appearing.

After the forum, John Georges sent out a press statement which continued the
belittling of the Republican Jindal. The press release in its title said,
"Independent gubernatorial candidate John Georges said Monday night that
voters should not hire Bobby Jindal as governor because he avoids the job

The press release in its relevant part said, "Georges said voters should
be wary of Jindal because he did not show up for the New Orleans debate
Monday night sponsored by WDSU and the League of Women Voters, and has only
met his opponents once."

"When someone applies for a job and doesn't show up for the interview,
you don't give him the job," Georges said, triggering applause from the
audience at the televised debate at the University of New Orleans campus.

"No one should get a free ride. We should always hold people
accountable," Georges said.

Georges noted that Jindal is part of the reason there is a shortfall in
The Road Home program.

Jindal is a member of Congress who went along with a federal hurricane
recovery plan that favored Mississippi, a fact that was underscored recently
in a study by the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council.

"The Road Home was not fully funded because Washington didn't fund it,"
Georges said. "Who's in Washington? Bobby Jindal. I say don't come home, Mr.
Jindal, until you get the money." (Italics by Bayoubuzz)

One of the individuals whose name appeared on the Georges press release and
who is now part of the Georges team is John Hill, the veteran reporter who
is no longer in the service of Gannet. Having Hill working for Georges is a
big win for the self-professed business turn-around artist. Hill brings to
the Georges camp years of experience covering Baton Rouge, the legislature
and other political events and as a veteran reporter has a good working
relationship with the media.

By contrast, Jindal's campaign will not talk too much to the press and has
generally dodged all media and debate opportunities.

Which refusal is really a shame. Jindal is an intelligent young man but he
is paying the price by keeping his distance.

Four years ago, he lost against Governor Blanco by not responding to Dr.
Evan Howell's ads and because whites in North Louisiana voting against him
due to his ethnicity.

Now, I believe he is losing credibility and gaining the media's animus by
not answering questions and for not showing up for debates.

The more televised debates and forums that might appear throughout the
state, the more Georges, Foster Campbell and Walter Boasso will mock Jindal,
the worse it will get for the Congressman.

Not that Jindal won't defend himself. But, he will do it through the
Republican Party and his campaign manager Timmy Teepell, not personally
which only symbolizes his lack of personal strength.

I don't think that Jindal fully understands the media's growing anger
against him which can only hurt him. The media seeks the truth and becomes
frustrated when they believe that someone is either lying or covering up or
not being forthright with their responses. It becomes worse when they smell
a dodge.

That is happening with Bobby Jindal and he is being poorly served by his
advisors, yet as a professional politician is making his own bed. His hard
core base is approximately 35 to 40 percent support of likely voters. But,
as he continues to duck appearances with his opponents, that number will

Meanwhile, Jindal's opposition is actually getting better with their
responses to questions.

Walter Boasso comes across as the angry guy on the block wanting to pull
apart the government infrastructure and put it together more efficiently.
On Monday, he had a chance to give a political answer to a question on
funding universities, but, he put on his legislative hat and became the
pragmatist. He said he was not willing to just say what was political or
what people wanted to hear. That honest answer won him some points as being
a person who understood the workings of the capitol and refused to
capitulate to campaign promises. Yet, he distinguished his approach to
dealing with the budget from that by Jindal claiming he is not "scrubbing
the budget" which Boasso claimed will have an adverse impact upon
individuals. That statement was a poke at Jindal's record at DHH and
reinforced his recent commercials of a man being "thrown out on the streets"

John Georges has begun to get his TV legs and while he speaks with a raspy
voice, his presentation on Channel 6 WDSU was light-years better than it was
last week at LPB. He will only get better in the next couple of weeks with
confidence. Plus, if history is a guide, there is often an unknown who
surges in these elections at the tail end, and this time, it might be

Meanwhile, Foster Campbell who has years of experience as a legislator and
as a regulator on the Public Service Commission is making more sense with
his signature legislature pitting Louisiana against OPEC. At least, the
solution sounds simple and he has a villainous target to hit-Caesar Chavez,
Iran and OPEC. The question still remains whether he can raise enough money
to get his message across to the voters.

The more the road show of the "Three Wise Men" continues, the closer to Oz
they get. Between the three of them, they are showing courage, heart and a
brain. Now, it is up to their opponent, Bobby Jindal, to convince the
voters (who are beginning to turn on him) that he possesses all three
necessary qualities. He has less than three weeks to display his wizardry,
which he can. However, for a state that has gone through misery, Jindal
needs more than selling a yellow brick road of promises. He is going to
have to walk on it and display his past record to secure a "first round"

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