OUR OPINION: Bobby’s bad day

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Like many Louisianans, we were astonished at how diminutive Gov. Bobby Jindal looked while delivering the minority party response to President Barrack Obama’s address to Congress Tuesday night.

As disappointed as we were that the governor muffed his chance to make Louisiana look good before a national audience, we’re not interested in being overly critical of Jindal because of one speech.

Jindal is still the elected official who as a congressman did more during Hurricane Katrina to help the people of Louisiana than any other state official, and, who as governor, single-handedly lessened the impact of Hurricane Gustav with his proactive leadership and seemingly indefatigable presence in the storm’s wake.

It’s great when an elected official delivers a fine speech, but leadership when the state is crippled and people are suffering is of a higher order.

If Jindal is still learning politics on the job, and he obviously is, so be it. His hurricane work and turnabout veto of Louisiana legislative pay raises last session prove that he knows what he is doing and can respond under pressure.

We have heard many exciting and powerful speeches from Jindal, and no doubt we will hear many more in the months and years ahead. A politician worth his salt does not let one speech or one event determine his fate or credibility.

Had the governor known how negative the reaction to his Republican minority policy speech would be, he certainly would not have announced that he was taking his family on a trip to Disney.

A working man has a right to take a vacation, but Jindal certainly realizes now from a public relations standpoint that being associated with Mickey Mouse after his speech is fodder for his detractors and will not help people forget his Mardi Gras night speech.

Good leadership in the upcoming Louisiana legislative session will help erase the tarnish on Jindal’s career bus.

We suggest that he leave the bus parked here for a while.