Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What the GOP can learn from Bobby Jindal

"Leadership." It's not a four-letter word. 

National Journal's Josh Kraushaar explains why:

Republicans searching for a positive governing message that doesn’t rely exclusively on opposing President Obama need look no further than Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and his landslide reelection on Saturday. Jindal’s ambitious government reforms in a state with a reputation for corruption has made him one of the most popular governors in the country, leading to across-the-board Republican dominance in the Pelican State. 
Jindal won 66 percent of the vote in an all-party ballot, facing only nominal Democratic opposition. His coattails extended the length of the Louisiana ballot: Democrats didn’t even field candidates in four of the seven statewide races. Where they did, the Republican won more than two-thirds of the vote... 
It’s unusual for an executive to win so convincingly after spending four years taking on entrenched interests. Calling for change and making controversial decisions rarely leads to such popularity. In fact, shaking things up often leads to political trouble, as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker found out upon unveiling an ambitious budget this year. 
But Jindal shattered the conventional wisdom, changing nearly every aspect of Louisiana governance in his first term—and he’s reaping the rewards. His bold agenda tightened the state’s notoriously lax ethics rules, streamlined its inefficient government, provided competition for New Orleans’ failing public schools, and cut spending while simultaneously improving services during the tumultuous, post-Hurricane Katrina period, as profiled in a National Review feature story by Jim Geraghty... 
As Jindal demonstrates, advancing good policies is good politics. The wonky Jindal is far from a natural pol, but his hands-on approach allowed Louisiana to rebound beyond expectations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. As the Republican front-runner, Romney would be well-advised to take a cue from Jindal instead of worrying whether doing so would become fodder for Democratic attack ads in a general election. It’s called leadership, and it’s something voters across the political spectrum yearn for.

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