Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's dreams of becoming the next president are going down the drain fast as he suffers a "Brownback problem" in his state and a foot-in-mouth crisis nationally, The Daily Beast reported
The Republican governor says he plans to decide in the next few months whether he will join the White House race in 2016. But the Beast's Eleanor Clift writes: "If he does, will anyone much notice or care?"
Jindal once declared that a governor should become the next person to occupy the Oval Office, saying, "I'm partial to governors, they've actually run something. We can't afford more on-the-job training."
But the Beast noted that since Jindal took charge of the Pelican State, it has plunged into a financial freefall, with the mitigating factor that the decline is partially due to oil prices dropping off a cliff. Nevertheless, he inherited a $900 million surplus in 2008 and now the state has a $1.6 billion deficit.
Clift wrote that Jindal has "what's being dubbed a 'Brownback problem,'" an ideological zeal to cut taxes and squeeze spending that has even the Republicans running to replace him after two terms, skewering Jindal for his fiscal stewardship.
"We saw this play out last year when Kansas Governor Sam Brownback came close to losing his bid for re-election after his aggressive tax-cutting left the state with a huge hole in the budget and triggered a backlash even from his Republican allies."
But Louisiana's fiscal crisis may not be Jindal's biggest problem, according to the Beast, which pointed out that his propensity to put his foot firmly in his mouth is more worrying for his supporters.
Last month Jindal gave a speech in London supporting a claim that there were "no-go zones"
in Europe, including Britain, that were controlled by Muslims and sharia law. Those claims were quickly disputed as bogus.
Clift wrote: "Listening to Jindal, one wonders how a guy who's so smart — a Rhodes scholar who graduated from Brown University at age 20 and was elected governor at age 36, the youngest in the nation at the time — keeps stumbling into bad headlines."
The Beast also took a swipe at Jindal for apparently flip-flopping on Common Core, saying he "originally supported" it but now leads the crusade against the national education standard, which has become "a third rail" for conservatives.
At a Monday breakfast in Washington hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Jindal highlighted his contempt for Common Core by saying that it had been created by "an unelected elite, a group of bureaucrats in D.C."
In summing up Jindal's fading White House hopes, Clift says that the governor "drowns every question in a torrent of words," while defending his economic record with a stack of pointless data such as the fact that "people have been moving into the state every year for the seven years he's been governor."
She added: "He has a brain that can incorporate all kinds of data, but he's his own worst enemy as a politician because he can't say anything in less than several minutes of what too often sounds like stream of consciousness."
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