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Nov 14, 2010 12:32 PM by Chris Welty

Analysis: Jindal Book About National Aspirations

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Anyone still questioning whether Bobby
Jindal's sights reach well beyond the Louisiana Governor's Mansion
or that this state is but a stepping stone to his larger political
ambitions should check out his book when it's released on Monday.
In "Leadership and Crisis," Jindal talks immigration policy,
deficiencies he sees in the Obama administration, congressional
term limits, terrorism strategy, the worth of the United Nations,
international relations and problems with European government
systems.
He includes a seven-point list of proposals Republican members
of Congress should work to enact nationally. He talks of how he
thinks the GOP has strayed from its core beliefs. He complains that
Democratic President Barack Obama "has ushered in the biggest
expansion of the old, top-down, centralized government model our
country has ever seen."
Not really the stuff of day-to-day policy making in Baton Rouge.
The conservative manifesto hits all the boilerplate talking
points, not straying too far into the squishy details of how he'd
change policies if he was in charge - and never directly suggesting
he wants to be in charge, though why else would you write such a
book?
It's not to say Jindal, a Republican in office for nearly three
years, never mentions Louisiana. He does often, but largely to
provide a brief autobiography of what he calls "a life that was
like 'Leave It to Beaver' with a Louisiana twist" and to tell the
story of his Indian immigrant parents, who he assures readers are
perfectly assimilated to the United States.
Jindal reaffirms that he is not a hyphenated American but that
he's "from Baton Rouge, by God, Louisiana. I am an American.
Period."
Also, every so often he throws in some comments about his work
as Louisiana's governor - not really about the troubles facing the
state or the work he has yet to do here, just the tidbits of how he
says he improved a corrupt culture, broadened educational
opportunities and strongly handled disasters while federal
officials dragged their feet.
Sufficient to say, his recounting of history since he entered
office in 2008 is a bit rosy and counts among his list of
achievements some policies that haven't been enacted yet, let alone
successful.
He tells anecdotes about his time on the campaign trail in his
failed bid for governor in 2003 and his successful race four years
later, and he opens the book with a Louisiana-centered story in the
Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
But while he writes of the beauty of the state's marshlands and
the resilience of its people, he spends much of the oil spill
chapter slamming the federal government and Obama's
"lackadaisical" response.
Any Louisiana resident willing to pay the cover price of $27.95
and hoping for some insight into how Jindal will deal with that
hefty $1.5 billion state shortfall around the corner, the lengthy
list of challenges that confront the state and how he plans to
tackle them will have to look for another book.
There's no insight into Jindal's internal struggles leading the
poverty-stricken state with the poor educational outcomes and
health-care troubles.
There's no depth about his decision-making on state issues, who
advises him or his disappointments as governor.
He talks very little of his dealings with legislators, members
of Louisiana's congressional delegation, his cabinet secretaries or
even Louisiana voters.
Jindal repeatedly says he's only running for re-election as
governor next year.
But this book is about Jindal's national plans, pure and simple,
targeted for an audience of Republicans he hopes will consider him
for higher office in a few years and who want someone to reinforce
their political views.

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