American Cicero

I don’t know for whom to feel sorrier: Bobby Jindal or me. Governor Jindal is considered one of the rising stars of the Republican Party, and all us evil rethugs had high hopes for his response to President Obama’s address before Congress. But alas, the American Cicero is a hard act to follow.

Mr. Obama really does hit all the right notes. He’s sincere and serious as a President should be, and yet injects those endearing notes of humor just like Reagan used to, and with just as good effect. Even with the backdrop of Nancy Pelosi jumping up like a jack-in-the-box every thirty seconds to begin a standing ovation for which everyone else then had to haul themselves to their feet, President Obama still came off wonderfully well, and I got that old feeling, that old Bill Clinton feeling, viz., wishing like hell that guy was on my side.

The only time the Obama Magic didn’t work was when he had the audacity (of hope?) to say that he would not saddle our children with a debt they can’t pay. If I’d been drinking something, I’d have spit it all over myself. Afraid the barn door’s already wide open on that one, Cicero. Almost as if he realized how asinine it sounded, and needing to deflect attention from the massive Congressional shopping spree for which he’d just signed the national Am Ex bill, he made pointed reference to the deficits his administration had inherited.

Then Mr. Fiscal Responsibility vowed again to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. Sounds good, I’m sure, to the Obama Mama who turned off American Idol long enough to watch the speech, but let’s take a closer look. He’s going to cut the deficit, not the debt. That means the government will still spend more than it takes in each year, and the debt will continue to climb. And he’s going to cut it in half. Half of a huge number is still a huge number. Finally, he’s going to cut it in half by the end of his term. That’s four years from now, so presumably for the next three years, Harry and Nancy’s spending spree can continue.

Ciceronian style or no Ciceronian style, that was plenty of material for Bobby Jindal to work with. But instead he told folksy stories about his dad in the grocery store and a sheriff trying to rescue people during Hurricane Katrina. I agreed with everything Jindal said — about how Democrats and Republicans have an honest and fundamental disagreement about the the role of government, about how Republicans have lost their way and haven’t stuck to their principles — but it was the way he said it that left me cold. I think he’s a good governor and a smart guy, and would make a swell candidate for President if we didn’t happen to live in the Age of TV. But we do, and let’s face it, folks: Abe Lincoln would get his stovepipe hat handed to him if he was around and running for the top job today.

Being smart, capable, honest and right on the issues just isn’t enough anymore. The GOP needs somebody who can beat the American Cicero at his own game, and we have less than three years to find him.

Update: other blog reactions
Michelle Malkin is doing damage control, said he didn’t do so bad. Ace thinks he came off like an earnest dork. Allahpundit gives thumbs down too. Anchoress is writing about Ash Wednesday instead, and admitting she misses Bush (check out the photo; he actually looks kinda good that way). I’m still waiting for the Iowahawk parody. While over there looking, I found the first serious post I’ve ever seen on his blog. It’s a sad one, and well worth a look.

Much speculation among conservative bloggers this fine day on whether it was Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann who groaned, “Oh, God,” when Jindal appeared. I wouldn’t be all that surprised either way, but my money’s on Olbermann. Now if it had been someone moaning “Oh, God,” when Obama appeared, I’d be betting the other way.

Comments 16

  1. Steve wrote:

    I agree about Pelosi. She definitely needs to take a few lessons from Obama on the art of playing it “cool.” As it was she seemed like a little girl, trying to beat everyone in a game of “let’s see who can stand up the fastest.” Embarrassing, but fortunately, only for her, as even her antics couldn’t hurt the confident presence that Obama projects so well.

    Posted 25 Feb 2009 at 6:45 am
  2. Jack wrote:

    Feminists are always saying a woman has to be twice as good as a man to succeed. If that’s so, could somebody please explain the rise of Nancy Pelosi to me?

    Posted 25 Feb 2009 at 2:34 pm
  3. Dan wrote:

    Jack, its not too hard to be twice as good as chumps like Dennis Hastert.

    Posted 25 Feb 2009 at 3:26 pm
  4. Mark wrote:

    We believe it was Matthews. I think we was upset because he wasn’t getting that thrill up his leg.

    MSNBC screws up, reacts to Bobby Jindal by saying, Oh God

    Posted 25 Feb 2009 at 7:21 pm
  5. Bowden Russell wrote:

    Jindal failed because, in reality, he like the leadership of the Republican party, are in fact not in opposition to the overall Obama agenda.

    Jindal could have called for the bankers, Wallstreet executives and mortgage frauds to be imprisoned. He didn’t.

    He could have called for Frank and Dodd to resign over their failed oversight of the banking system. Nope, he didn’t want to sound too “partisan”.

    He could have pointed out that Rahm “Tax-free-rent” Emmanuel served on the now government run and bankrupt Freddie Mac where he pulled down a healthy $230,000 in 2001.

    I could go on, you get the point. The Republicans are appearing to me to be as useful as teats on a bull.

    Posted 25 Feb 2009 at 10:26 pm
  6. Dan wrote:

    Jindal’s GOP nomination intrade stock immediately following his opposition response speech.

    Apoligies in advance if img tag is disabled.

    Posted 26 Feb 2009 at 12:16 am
  7. Dan wrote:

    It apparently is.

    http://img.waffleimages.com/b8965cd4a29d5e2c4789c98bc9324b2410720682/Jindal%2Bon%2BIntrade.jpg

    Posted 26 Feb 2009 at 12:17 am
  8. MIT Mommy wrote:

    I applaud you for blogging about it. Honestly, I hear a lot about hope, but with all this glass-is-half-full attitude we are hearing about, I don’t see the economy moving anywhere but down. The numbers just look bad – jobs, housing starts, car production – all projections are negative. The people who I would predict have the best view of the situation are still saying that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

    I really WANT to see all those Obama mamas so happy that they are going out and happily stimulating the economy. Please, all you folks, now that Obama is in there and you trust him to fix things – PLEASE act like he is going to fix things. That’s right, and when your husband comes home from his last day of work, and you can’t get a loan to cover things because there is no bank liquidity, and your ‘side business’ isn’t selling because no one really, desperately needs a fondant cake or a dress hemmed, please try not to be shocked.

    But, in the meantime, go out there and stimulate the economy for the rest of us.

    Please. Thanks.

    There. Now I can finish my coffee. My cup is still half-full. (It’s cheap coffee and I plan to enjoy every sip).

    Posted 26 Feb 2009 at 2:32 pm
  9. Blast3r wrote:

    “The only time the Obama Magic didn’t work was when he had the audacity (of hope?) to say that he would not saddle our children with a debt they can’t pay. ”

    So, did you spit coke all over yourself when the Republicans gave us our current unbelievable debt? You know, after there was a surplus of money before Bush got ahold of it? Obama has to fix the incompetancy of your party in hopes that your kids don’t have to pay all of the dept your party is responsible for. wow, you people just seem to forget things like that.

    Posted 26 Feb 2009 at 5:01 pm
  10. Dan wrote:

    From marjorie over at m-pyre:

    “This is the nation that cast off the scourge of slavery, overcame the Great Depression, prevailed in two World Wars, won the struggle for civil rights, defeated the Soviet menace, and responded with determined courage to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

    “The American spirit has triumphed over almost every form of adversity known to man, and the American spirit will triumph again.”

    That’s how Jindahl ended his speech. Aren’t all of these examples of government intervention or collective action?”

    Posted 26 Feb 2009 at 11:24 pm
  11. Bowden Russell wrote:

    That’s how Jindahl ended his speech. Aren’t all of these examples of government intervention or collective action?

    Is it your contention that government action in the 1930s got us out of the depression?

    I’m all ears on this one Dan.

    Posted 27 Feb 2009 at 5:55 am
  12. Jim A. wrote:

    Mr. Jindal is spot on. I can’t believe how biased they were against him. I know he’s young, but Reps. would be lucky to have him in 2012.

    Have you read the new Bobby Jindal book by xander Cricket? I saw it on Amazon but haven’t checked it out yet.

    I think it’s at this link – http://www.amazon.com/Bobby-Jindal-Transformational-Brown-skinned-Conservative/dp/1442129182/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239720994&sr=1-3

    Posted 14 Apr 2009 at 2:57 pm
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  1. From Moralia - Obama’s Supreme Court nominee on 06 May 2009 at 11:59 pm

    […] lost this round in the Culture War last summer when I watched with sick fascination and horror the American Cicero seducing the […]

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