"Oh God," muttered Chris Matthews, before Gov. Jindal had begun. If you're going to enter like a wannabe president the least you can do is have a clue what has come before you show up.
Michael Gerson should be hiding after tonight: Some have compared Jindal to Obama, but the new president has always been more attracted to platitudes than to policy. Rush Limbaugh has anointed Jindal "the next Ronald Reagan."
Happy Mardi Gras is how Gov. Jindal started. It got worse from there. Fox's Charles Krauthammer stated it simply: "Jindal didn't have a chance."
Following President Obama's incredible oratory, personal touches and serious content, Jindal's high school bio-driven blather, complete with a Katrina gaffe that included mentioning the sheriff that stood on the bridge with dogs and guns to keep people from crossing, you had to wonder if Republicans had ever heard the man speak before. Maybe they simply picked him because Michael Steele is the only other guy of color they've got and he was busy.
David Brooks drives in the final nail:
LEHRER: Now that, of course, was Gov. Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, making the Republican response. David, how well do you think he did?
BROOKS: Uh, not so well. You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a very promising politician, and I oppose the stimulus because I thought it was poorly drafted. But to come up at this moment in history with a stale "government is the problem," "we can't trust the federal government" -- it's just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic right now. They may not like the way the Democrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea that we're just gonna -- that government is going to have no role, the federal government has no role in this, that -- In a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignore all that and just say "government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending," it's just a form of nihilism. It's just not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is. There's an intra-Republican debate. Some people say the Republican Party lost its way because they got too moderate. Some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and so he's making that case. I think it's insane, and I just think it's a disaster for the party. I just think it's unfortunate right now.
Republicans might have to rethink this Jindal thing.
Calling Sarah Palin? Yep, all Palin has to do is stay out of sight and study. They'll end up begging her to come back, with Rush and Sean Hannity leading the cheers. She can't answer the simplest questions but at least she can deliver a speech.