Kathleen Parker wants to know what happens to the Bobby Jindal she knows. The one with a great big intellect.
I liked the old Bobby Jindal better – the one whose brain moves so fast, he's already indexing questions his interviewers haven't thought of yet.
What did they do with him?
The Jindal who responded to Barack Obama's address to Congress was less the brilliant statesman than a terribly mixed metaphor – equal parts Mister Rogers, Bobby Brady and Kenneth the Page.
I know Bobby Jindal, and that guy wasn't Bobby Jindal.
She knows what happened to him and says so. Staff, handlers, consultants. The same types who have done such humiliating damage to both politicians in both parties. But that’s only part of the story. The other two parts are much more troubling for Jindal’s future.
His allowing his handlers to turn him into a developmentally disabled Mr. Rogers was just plain Leadership Fail. Leaders don’t allow themselves to be handled into an alternate personality. They can communicate on different levels and sound perfectly natural whether they’ve got their wonk hats on or are in a more populist mode. They also don’t sound like totally different people. Bill Clinton could do it. Obama has it down perfectly. Jindal – not so much.
The even larger problem, though, and this is direct to Ms. Parker, is that your party has campaigned on rejecting intellect, science or even rational approaches to problems in favor of….Joe the Plumber. Rush Limbaugh is the standard bearer of the GOP. Rational Republicans like Charlie Christ are vilified. Can you blame Jindal for thinking he had to communicate on a kindergarten level? You need to fix the party before you can fix Jindal.