Is there a more dangerous assignment for a rising party star to accept than a State of the Union rebuttal?....In all the heated discussions last summer about who Obama’s running mate should be, whenever Kathleen Sebelius’s name came up, people would talk about how impressive it is that she’s a strong Democratic voice in a conservative state and that she has true policy credentials--and then they’d say, But did you see her rebuttal? Similar deal with Tim Kaine, who was plagued by his dead fish performance in ’06. Gary Locke, Obama’s likely next pick for Commerce, gave such a bad speech six years ago that it’s a breathtaking act of charity that he’s been allowed to talk in public, in front of other people, with cameras around, again.
And it's not just rising stars who bomb at this assignment. Remember Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in 2005?
This was why I didn't bother listening to Jindal's speech last night. I figured he was doomed no matter what, so why bother. But I've since watched it and — well, holy cow. What a train wreck. Aside from the bizarre decision to follow one of America's most sophisticated speechmakers with an address that sounded like it was meant for a class of third graders, it didn't even make sense. It wasn't the government that restored New Orleans after Katrina? Tell that to the taxpayers who forked over $200 billion. We need to spend less during a massive recession? You betcha. Republicans stand for universal access to affordable healthcare coverage? Huh? Now is not the time to dismantle our defenses? Who's proposing that? And the usual lie about the stimulus bill funding a train from LA to Las Vegas got even more baroque in Jindal's telling, morphing into a mag lev train. Is that supposed to make it sound even worse? Or what?
Yeesh. Even the Fox News bobbleheads couldn't stomach this stale repetition of Club for Growth talking points. Who can blame them?
And as long as I'm picking on Jindal, who picked out his tie, anyway? Was it supposed to kinda sorta match the stripes on the American flag next to him? Or was it just a colorful candy cane? Or what?