Cajun signs hailing “Geaux Bobby!” waved across the screen as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took the stage to announce his expected run for President.
Jindal started with the story of his parents who came to America 44 years ago. They came seeking a land of opportunity where hard work paid off and men and women were free to live their lives without government intrusion.
The legend of America was true, and they found what they were looking for as they would watch their eldest son go on to graduate from an Ivy League school and earn the titles of Rhodes Scholar and Governor.
Gov. Jindal, or “Bobby” as he prefers to be called, quickly went into his record as governor of Louisiana.
After inheriting the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a state with high levels of corruption and debt, Bobby took quick action to rectify Louisiana.
After privatizing their mess of a public hospital system, reforming their state ethics, and cutting their state budget by 26 percent, Gov. Jindal had one thing to say to lovers of big government: guilty as charged!
And one such big government lover Jindal chose to contrast himself with was Hillary Clinton.
“[Hillary] defines success as prosperity of government. We define success as prosperity of the people.”
But the larger focus of his speech was on religious liberty.
“Let me speak very clearly so Secretary Clinton can hear me: America didn’t create religious liberty, religious liberty created America.”
Politicians are selfish and make decisions based on polling, not what’s right, Gov. Jindal proclaimed.
Jindal is shooting to be defined as a Washington outsider and results oriented governor. The guy that is willing to say and do what’s necessary to fix America, even if it’s unpopular.
“The one word that defines Bobby is: Fearless. Bobby has never shied away from a fight or from doing what’s right,” his wife, Supriya Jindal said in her opening remarks.
She recalled being impressed with the amount of determination from Bobby, especially at the beginning of their relationship. When he first asked her out, she turned him down flat. But he didn’t stop trying.
He will need this perseverance in the 2016 presidential race. However, his savvy strategy may offer him a one up over the front running governor from Florida, Jeb Bush. Bush has cast himself as a man that is ready to be president and someone who accomplished a lot as governor. If Jindal can frame himself as a similarly accomplished governor, the Washington outsider image might just put him over the top, especially in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Bigger surprises have happened in politics, and Jindal may be able to pull it off.
Furthermore, if you doubt that Jindal has set his sights on Bush as the guy to beat, doubt no more, as Jindal saved his biggest punch for the former Florida governor:
“You’ve heard Jeb Bush saying we need to be able to lose the primary to win the general election. We’re going to help him do that,” Jindal said. “I’m going to translate that from political-speak into plain English. He is saying that we need to hide our conservative ideals. But the truth is, if we go down that road again, we will lose again.
Terry Schilling is the executive director of American Principles in Action.