2010: Jindal Won’t Endorse Vitter; 2011: Vitter Endorses Jindal

An interesting tidbit crossed our e-mail this morning:

Wendy and I want to thank you again for all of your friendship. Because we value it so highly, I wanted to pass on two important thoughts about our elections in Louisiana this fall.

First, I am strongly endorsing Bobby Jindal for Governor. I hope you will join with me in doing everything we can to ensure a particularly strong victory for Bobby and our state.

You know, we really should stop and remember. It wasn’t long ago that the norm in Louisiana politics was blatant corruption and cronyism interrupted only once in a while by failed reform or mere incompetence. That’s almost all I knew growing up here.

Bobby is helping to change that. He’s honest and competent. He wants to make government leaner and smarter, not more bloated and intrusive.

We must stay on this path.

And second, to help Bobby become as engaged and bold as possible in his second term, we need a more conservative legislature, particularly in the State Senate.

To achieve this, I’d strongly encourage you to support a group I helped found–the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority.

In just a few years, this group helped achieve majorities in both the State House and Senate. But we can go even further. (And with several Rinos or Republicans in name only, particularly in the State Senate, we need to.) With your help, we will.*

We’re one of only four states with major elections this year. So all of these victories can really help build conservative momentum for 2012 nationally as well.

Please join me in these important efforts. They will truly be critical in defining the Louisiana–and America–we leave to our kids and grandkids.

Thank you again for your partnership.

The e-mail ends in a solicitation of a donation for the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority, which a lot of smart observers are saying will be the 800-pound gorilla in the room as this year’s statewide cycle unfolds.

The significance of this? A couple of things.

First, the endorsement is something of a shot across Jindal’s bow since it brings to mind the fact that Jindal didn’t endorse Vitter when he ran for re-election last year. And Jindal has been criticized for not engaging in as much party-building as perhaps he could – something Vitter has been committed to and done a good job with for much or most of his political career. Today’s communique’ really rams that home, and to the extent that Vitter and Jindal are vying for leadership of the state Republican party it’s not dissimilar to the I’m-a-nice-guy-helping-you-out-even-if-you-don’t-appreciate-it coup Jindal managed in his exchange with Democrat opponent for governor Tara Hollis earlier this week.

And second, Vitter specifically takes aim at the RINO’s in the state senate in that message. He doesn’t name names, but it’s not hard to figure out who he’s talking about. And as time goes by and the electoral field in many of those races becomes set, it will become clear who the players on Vitter’s team will be – and the identity of the opponents as well.

None of which will decide any elections this fall, necessarily, but it’s certainly apparent that Vitter will be an aggressive participant in this statewide cycle and while he’s on board Jindal’s team he’s not necessarily so friendly to some of the lesser lights with “R’s” next to their names.



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