Bobby Jindal, Reborn to Run

Photo by dsb nola, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/derek_b/2549541623/">via Flickr</a>.

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s debut book, Leadership and Crisis, comes out on Monday, and Politico’s preview makes it sound like the one-time-and-potentially-future GOP golden boy spends a significant part of it criticizing President Obama for playing politics with the Gulf oil spill. Jindal highlights this as evidence of the greater state of affairs in Washington, where, he writes, “Political posturing becomes more important than reality.”

But wait—doesn’t using your first book as a 39-year-old first-term governor and presidential hopeful to accuse the Obama administration of playing politics…amount to playing politics, too? During the crisis it was clear that Jindal saw the spill as a way to regain some national attention.

After his disastrous State of the Union rebuttal last year, his first foray into the national spotlight, Jindal laid fairly low. But in the wake of the spill, he spared no effort when it came to lobbing rhetorical bombs at the administration, including accusing it of “making excuses for BP” and lambasting the lack of “detailed plans” for response.

Jindal’s criticism ignored the fact that, as a member of Congress, he himself played a major role in efforts to open vast new areas offshore for drilling—without doing anything in the way of improving regulations.

Jindal clearly saw his battles with the administration over the spill response as political opportunities. He hammered the White House on issues like building sand berms along the coast, even after the federal government gave the state permission to build them and even when the state was flagrantly violating the permits it was granted. Jindal’s berm war was little more than political grandstanding, at the cost of long-term protection of his state’s coastal ecosystems.

So it’s little surprise that Jindal makes a big deal of this issue in his new book. Nor is it surprising that his supporters are already planning fundraisers for this “eventual presidential contender.”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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