Bobby Jindal, Reborn to Run

Photo by dsb nola, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/derek_b/2549541623/">via Flickr</a>.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s debut book, Leadership and Crisis, comes out on Monday, and Politico’s preview makes it sound like the one-time-and-potentially-future GOP golden boy spends a significant part of it criticizing President Obama for playing politics with the Gulf oil spill. Jindal highlights this as evidence of the greater state of affairs in Washington, where, he writes, “Political posturing becomes more important than reality.”

But wait—doesn’t using your first book as a 39-year-old first-term governor and presidential hopeful to accuse the Obama administration of playing politics…amount to playing politics, too? During the crisis it was clear that Jindal saw the spill as a way to regain some national attention.

After his disastrous State of the Union rebuttal last year, his first foray into the national spotlight, Jindal laid fairly low. But in the wake of the spill, he spared no effort when it came to lobbing rhetorical bombs at the administration, including accusing it of “making excuses for BP” and lambasting the lack of “detailed plans” for response.

Jindal’s criticism ignored the fact that, as a member of Congress, he himself played a major role in efforts to open vast new areas offshore for drilling—without doing anything in the way of improving regulations.

Jindal clearly saw his battles with the administration over the spill response as political opportunities. He hammered the White House on issues like building sand berms along the coast, even after the federal government gave the state permission to build them and even when the state was flagrantly violating the permits it was granted. Jindal’s berm war was little more than political grandstanding, at the cost of long-term protection of his state’s coastal ecosystems.

So it’s little surprise that Jindal makes a big deal of this issue in his new book. Nor is it surprising that his supporters are already planning fundraisers for this “eventual presidential contender.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest