The era of GOP token politics took another step today when the Congressional Republican leadership announced that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has been chosen to deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s address to Congress on February 24. It also helps that Jindal is young and his parents were immigrants from India.
House Republican Leader John Boehner said of Jindal, “Gov. Jindal embodies what I have long said: the Republican Party must not be simply the party of ‘opposition,’ but the party of better solutions. His stewardship of the state of Louisiana, dedication to reforming government, and commitment to bringing forth new and innovative ideas make him a leader not just within the Republican Party, but in our nation as a whole.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Gov. Jindal’s leadership during a time of recovery in Louisiana, his commitment to real government reform, and his protection of hardworking American families make him an excellent choice to offer Republican solutions for the challenges which lay ahead.” Hmm, Jindal is a government reformer who brings new and innovative ideas while fighting for working people, well that sounds a lot like someone else we all know. In fact it sounds a lot like that guy from Chicago who currently resides in the White House. Could it be that the Republicans are looking to build up Jindal as the conservative answer to Obama?
I think it is obvious why the Republicans offered this plum national television to slot to Jindal. The GOP is trying to play more token politics. It seems like are promoting anybody in the party who isn’t white to counter Barack Obama’s election. This move, along with the election of Michael Steele as RNC chairman, is a cynical and shameless attempt to appeal to minority voters. Bobby Jindal is young, but as of yet, has not impressed me as being presidential material. The more intriguing question is, if the party is going to push Jindal, what does this mean for Sarah Palin?
She has already begun her campaign for 2012, and if the party thought that she really was the future then they should have offered her the chance to follow Obama. Palin’s limited popularity likely scared off many Republicans from the idea of putting her national television to represent them. I don’t see the charisma in Jindal to rival Obama. The Republicans are desperately grasping at anyone hoping that someone will be able to lead them out the abyss that they currently find themselves in. The GOP looks more content to try finding a quick fix for their recent election losses, instead rebuilding their party.