Yesterday in front of the White House, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called President Obama “unfit to be commander in chief.” He also wrote a column for FoxNews.com that said largely the same thing.
Here’s what the Times-Picayune said about those comments:
Gov. Bobby Jindal continued his attacks on President Barack Obama, proclaiming just outside the White House Monday (Februrary 23) that Obama is “unfit to be commander in chief” based on his refusal to commit resources needed to defeat and kill radical Islamic terrorists.
“I take no joy in saying that,” Jindal said after he and other governors met with the president for nearly 90 minutes. “I don’t say so for partisan or ideological reasons.”
But he said a president who cannot call the enemy “radical Islamic terrorists,” or is willing to rule out ground troops, except for very limited missions, isn’t leading the United States to victory over a brutal enemy that he says only can be stopped by killing them.
This is in addition to recent comments made by Governor Jindal on various issues. Governor Jindal asserted in London that there were “no-go zones” in certain areas in Britain and Europe where Muslims have established Sharia enclaves where Western culture is forbidden. Governor Jindal also quipped that the “medieval Christian threat is under control” when President Obama lectured the country on the Crusades at the National Prayer Breakfast. In January, Governor Jindal held a prayer rally, The Response, that was harshly criticized by the secular left. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, Governor Jindal slammed President Obama for “disrespecting the Jewish people.”
When take this combattive approach and combine that with some issue stances Governor Jindal has taken and it’s starts becoming clear with Governor Jindal is trying to do as he positions himself for a likely presidential run. Last month, Governor Jindal came out for an amendment that would allow states to ban gay marriage if the Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage bans. Governor Jindal has also become a leading opponent of the Common Core national education standards.
In the past couple of months, Jindal is trying to set himself as the hardcore socially conservative candidate who can win. He can point to the fact that he’s been handily elected Governor of Louisiana twice and before that served in the U.S. Congress. National Review’s Jim Geraghty doesn’t think Jindal can win and doesn’t have a path to the nomination, but I disagree and here’s why.
Admittedly, it doesn’t look good for our governor right now. Here’s the current Real Clear Politics polling average of the Republican primary polling:
It’s even worse right now for the governor in Iowa, which is essentially a do or die state for him.
The path for victory for Bobby Jindal is simple, do well in Iowa in order to live fight another day. To do that, he must make inroads among Iowa’s social conservative voters. Right now, Iowa’s social conservatives are more or less split between Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, with Scott Walker, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz making their own plays for that vote. Jeb Bush and Rand Paul each have their own bases (establishment wing and libertarian wing respectably) and they’re irrelevant to a Jindal strategy.
What Jindal must do is simple, but complex at the same time. He must establish himself as a fresh, credible social conservative alternative to the stale Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum while at the same time he must show he can beat Scott Walker, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz. It should be easy for Bobby Jindal, a two-term governor, to establish himself with more credibility than Ben Carson, who has no political experience, and Ted Cruz, who has only been in politial office for two years. However, overcoming Scott Walker’s “throne of skulls” will be much more difficult.
The reason why conservatives like Scott Walker is that he fights the left and he wins. That’s why Jindal is becoming increasingly combattive on national security and cultural issues. Now Jindal must count on one thing, Scott Walker stumbling. If that doesn’t happen, than Jindal is screwed. However, if that does happen, then Bobby Jindal can easily become the dark horse of the 2016 cycle.
I might be too much of a contrarian these days, but I’m not quite ready to write off our governor’s chances at the Republican nomination just yet.