Somewhat Lacking, but Hopefully a Lesson Learned

Underwhelming performance largely a product of tired format, should serve as catalyst for GOP adaptation

I watched the Republican response twice, first when it came up live on NBC and again when it was re-broadcast on Fox News Channel at about 1:30 a.m. I was up studying during the second go-round, and found myself curious as to how Jindal would come across without the lead-in from the president and a joint session of Congress.

The first time I saw the response, I was underwhelmed. I like Bobby Jindal but, last night, he was lacking. Not necessarily in content, but in delivery. He looked stiff while walking up to the camera. His tone was repetitive in lilt and rhythm and sounded, at times, as though he was talking about politics to a group of schoolchildren. This didn’t seem like the Jindal I’ve seen at all. The Jindal I know has shown himself time and time again to be brilliant, to be an absolute dynamo — last night, this man fell flat.

The speech was substantively good and it included all of the right arguments, but it seemed a little too cordial and a little too unorganized, a bit like a car in neutral, struggling to get into gear. Good points and solid arguments and the articulation of conservative principles seemed lost in the shuffle, part of a speech that was a bit tedious in tone and tempo and emphasis. Even with the help of my ADD medication, I had trouble staying focused on what the governor was saying. Unfortunately, I had no such trouble keeping focused on what the president had been saying a few minutes earlier. Bobby Jindal is capable of great passion, of really inspiring with his oratory — last night, I didn’t see that.

The second time I caught Jindal’s response, however, while Jindal’s delivery wasn’t any more palatable than it was the first time, the real problem became clear — we’re going to have three more of these State of the Union-type addresses and, as the economy gets worse and worse, each will present the Republican party with a unique opportunity to separate itself from Barack Obama and, to a fairly captive audience–American Idol is preempted, after all–explain to the American people why conservative principles work while big-government liberalism has caused the problems they see each and every day. These opportunities simply cannot be squandered.

The problem is inherent in the process, a process which last night got the better of the beleaguered Jindal. Whether the response is coming from a Democrat or a Republican, it’s always the same. Minutes after seeing a speech performed nicely in front of a packed, grandiose House chamber with applause and standing ovations interspersed throughout, television viewers are whisked into the office, living room, den, foyer or bathroom of some unlucky schlub charged essentially with the equivalent of following Robin Williams in his prime with a prop comedy act, sans props. It’s impossible. It simply cannot be done well and, in the case of the Republicans in this political climate, it simply cannot be as effective as we need. Furthermore, with master orator Barack Hussein Obama giving speeches filled with soaring, perfectly delivered rhetoric to joint sessions of Congress for the next three years, the Republicans simply must get it right. This is one of few times each year where many people who normally prefer Sportscenter to Special Report actually tune in and pay attention; such an occasion cannot be wasted.

Change must come to the Republican response. The days of parading the future of our party out into such an impossible situation and essentially throwing him or her to the lions must end. Tonight was no way to introduce Bobby Jindal to the masses, at least not without creating some sort of dynamism from an inherently static, stiff environment.

Perhaps it can be something simple, such as using text graphics to better break up and organize the substance of the response. Every night in the opening minutes of The O’Reilly Factor, producers at Fox News Channel manage to display Bill O’Reilly’s words on the screen as he says them. Personally, I find it to be annoying, but if such a mechanism had been employed last night in order to effectively and clearly structure the speech and lay out bullet points, the response would likely have been perceived in a different manner. Jindal’s speech reads a whole lot better than it was delivered — I could see at least five or six distinct places where a simple visual heading could have made a world of difference.

Or, perhaps the necessary change could be something a little more non-traditional, such as the use of a panel of solid conservatives rather than a solitary, unfortunate soul, each taking one of the aforementioned headings and running with it. If, for example, I were running the show, it would go something like this:

First, pick a few people from a crowd of solid conservatives including Jindal, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Mark Sanford, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, and others. Sure, I’d love for Mike Huckabee or any number of congressmen and senators such as Jim DeMint, Jon Thune, Walter Jones or Michele Bachmann to be there, but Huckabee has his media gig and the rest would be tied up at the Capitol.

Second, find a nice-looking kitchen table at a home belonging to one of the aforementioned people. Brew coffee. Light it nicely, and arrange with multiple cameras.

Third, pick one person in particular to read an opening statement. Jindal’s opening tonight was nice, talking about the historical implications and such — so use it and, in this case, when Jindal would finish with his opener, he might turn to Romney and say, “gee whiz, Mitt, you’re pretty in tune with Wall Street and our economy, did anything from the president’s speech jump out at you tonight?”

Next, on cue, have each person in the group run down something on the list, being sure to articulate how conservatism demands that things be done differently, how history shows that the conservative response traditionally works better, and how a personal anecdote might punctuate the point being made. When that person is done, they hand it off: “Gosh, Sarah, you’re a mom of five, did anything Obama said about education perk your ears up?” Lather, rinse, and repeat with each Republican.

Finally, after each person picks something out of the president’s speech two or three times, the moderator could close with an anecdote, with a reiteration of the merits of conservative principles in general, and with the traditional, heart-felt blessing.

I know it’s not perfect. I’m not a professional spin-artist. I’m not a Washington insider. However, I am an American, and an American with a gnat-like attention span at that. Considering how much as I try to keep in tune with the goings-on in our nation’s capital, if I was underwhelmed by Gov. Jindal’s response last night, I cannot imagine that the American Idol crowd stuck with it for very long.

Involving a number of different people with different styles would add a much needed element of dynamism. Much in the same way that a sitcom without a laugh track may not make the average viewer laugh as often, a political speech without the feedback of applause or boos or even notable silence may leave the viewer disengaged. Provide other people and other perspectives at that kitchen table, provide multiple cameras with multiple shots and multiple angles, and even if each person’s remarks are rehearsed down to each dotted “i” and crossed “t,” it would provide television viewers with reactions which simply cannot be captured in the tired format we saw employed last night in Baton Rouge.

Point being, what we’ve got going now simply is not working, and the GOP must adapt in order to be able to convey, to the American people, the merits of conservatism as a whole. Bobby Jindal was absolutely flayed last night; part of it was his own doing, of course, but much of it was a result of the format-related constraints placed upon whichever unfortunate soul is asked to deliver the response.

Consider what was written on these pages on November 8, 2008, only four days after the presidential election:


We need to get younger. We need to get sleeker. We need to get faster, smoother, more efficient. We need to get quicker, smarter, more punishing, and less apt to retreat into our corner.

We need to stick to conservative principles, package those principles and sell them to the American public. It starts with the tenets of fiscal conservatism, stressing the end of big government, of higher taxes, of growth-stifling regulation. Create jobs by fostering economic growth, protect wealth by reducing taxes. Let America know that government has no business in the auto business, in our hospitals, in our homes. Talk to your kids, to your neighbors, to your co-workers, to people you meet in the supermarket. Challenge them to footraces, if necessary.

Regardless, the Ward Cleaver perception of conservatism must be replaced by concrete, practically-applicable examples of situations and institutions where conservative principles work. States and municipalities must lead the way, the private sector must do their job as well. The new media must do the job that the old media will not, and consistently report on the successes of conservatism alongside the failures of the Obama administration.

Republican Party leadership in Washington, D.C. must be gutted as well. Over the past two dozen years, we’ve seen that conservative republicans win elections, while moderate republicans do not. The tenure of the big government, spend-happy wing of the GOP must end. Young, forceful, vibrant leaders in the conservative movement must be supported and given exposure. Jindal. Palin. Ryan. Cantor. Sanford. DeMint. Huckabee. Romney. Bachman. Pence. When the dust settles in the weeks and months following Tuesday’s election, we’re going to see signs of one of two things from our party — either we’ll see the down-in-the-mouth, lazy fighter who refuses to adhere to the basic principles of hard work and sacrifice, or a lean, mean, fighting machine ready to take down the reigning champion in 2012. If it’s the former, we’re doomed; if it’s the latter, we’ll surely win.

If the Republican party continues to do the same things, continues to proceed with business as usual, continues to be encumbered by the same formats and templates and processes, we will not stand a chance to compete with Barack Obama’s well-oiled political machine in 2012, possibly regardless of the state of our economy and nation. We must change. We must adapt. And we must force the breaking down of the barriers set forth by traditional standards for and means of communication.

Last night’s underwhelming performance by a true star of the conservative movement provided perhaps the clearest possible example of everything I’ve been trying to articulate since the moment the networks called the election for Barack Obama. Smoother, sleeker, more media-savvy, more tech-savvy, more able to relate with younger voters, with voters riddled with ADD, with people who honestly would understand the merits of conservatism if they were presented with the principles in an interesting, engaging and effective manner. Last night could not have provided a more crystal clear picture of what must be done by the Republican party not only to prosper, but to merely survive.

So, let’s get to it, already. And next time, when the country gets re-introduced to Bobby Jindal–hopefully alongside some other bright spots on the right–let’s make sure we provide him with the proper tools to bring forth his potential, display his command, and knock their socks off.

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Comments

  1. ForMySons says:

    Here is the response the Republicans SHOULD have played….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKc4XFK0iVY

  2. tm says:

    Palin.
    Shot it out of the park on her first try (without a teleprompter- I heard at the convention there was a glitch)
    Delivery and can handle the brutal press –
    I think this time the Old timey RNC handlers should be all away from her and let her pick the way she goes.
    Hell, her own party (well, the corrupt rhinos)is afraid of her as well – why? she was not afraid of going up against the politcal corruption or the establishment
    look at the record in Alaska -solid.
    Young. Brash.
    My conclusion
    Palin/Jindal 2012

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lets be honest, the GOP’s purported “gold leaf over a copper penny” inclusivity rebranding tactic is not going to work, and it’s frustrating the hell out of me. It didn’t work in the elections a few months ago, and it’s not going to work now. As you mentioned, they should have featured a famaliar middle-aged face.

    Although many Republican’s believe that Obama was solely elected due to the color of his skin (sympathetic)….that’s obviously not the case. Using a token ethnic face to represent our Republican party is not going to sway votes, as much as making some slight changes to our “ideals” and approach would.

    Sarah Palin did nothing but rally card carrying Republicans, and those who could not wrap their heads around the idea of a person of color becoming president. That being said, it’s obvious that neither Jindal, nor Steele can rally that portion of the base.

    Call me a fool for saying so, fine…but I would say that at least 30% of those that voted for McCain will agree with me. In 2012, Jindal won’t win the primaries, so what’s the point of doing what they’re doing?

    All in all, Jindal should NEVER be chosen again. Cantor would have been a much better pick. Choosing Palin would have just led to a Saturday Night Live skit mocking her and our party.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My stomach turned almost from the beginning of this charade last night.

    When the Supreme Court Justices filed in, **beaming from ear to ear**, KNOWING FULL WELL THEY’VE TURNED THEIR BACK ON THE CONSTITUTION, shirked their duty, and betrayed the trust of the American people by facilitating the illegal usurpation of the U.S. Presidency by a foreign-born, narcissistic, EVIL SATANIST intent on replacing what’s left of our Republic with Communism, and driving our nation into BANKRUPCY and third-world poverty, so that we can become slaves of his ‘handlers’, I wanted to throw up. HOW CAN THOSE NINE TRAITORS LOOK AT THEMSELVES IN THE MIRROR?

    The ‘Obama Lovefest’ by our Congress was more than I could bear. Every sentence from his mouth brought a standing ovation, clapping and cheering for his socialist rhetoric, once empty but now ominously foretelling of what lies in our near future. Can our Congressmen all be so BLINDED by this snake charmer, or are they just as evil as Obama?

    Then there was Pelosi – so enraptured with Obama, she looked like a 13-year-old girl having her first fantasy about her favorite movie star standing in front of her. THESE are the FOOLS we have leading this country???

    Jindal left me totally cold. Why was he so POLITE? What I wanted, what I NEEDED to see was a conservative ON FIRE, an un-politically correct man, unafraid to call a spade a spade. I’d rather have seen Alan Keyes in rebuttal–brutally honest, and WHO WOULD BE TALKED ABOUT afterwards. Even if he were ridiculed, he would DARE the media to ignore him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkMfToY9Pk

    For me, the highlight of the evening was when Obama, making excuses for closing the Guantanamo prison, promised the terrorists will pay for their crimes. Did you notice that Pelosi immediately leapt to her feet (as she, VP Stooge Biden, and all the Democrats had done with his every sentence all evening….but a camera pan of the Chamber revealed that ONLY A HANDFUL of Congressmen stood to applaud that remark.

    Is seems even our liberal, socialist Democrats in Congress can see the folly in turning Radical Islamic Terrorists loose on American soil.

    Score one tiny one for the Gipper.

  5. MaryAlice says:

    Jeff: Great Comments!

    I am sending to the GOP. Let’s see who is paying attention.

  6. MUJERLATINA says:

    I concur Jeff. I am disappointed at Bobby Jindal’s rebuttal last evening. I too was reflecting on why he sounded so dead-pan. Then it occurred to me that, after months of hearing the lilt of a black preaching style like Obama, most other cadences sound flat!!! If you take Jindal away from that black southern cadence, he really did do just fine. Here’s my idea: mix it up next time with a Michael Steele segue (since he has a more dynamic style and is RNC Chair), then move to Jindal and then a woman. I think Sarah Palin is far too polarizing a figure for that venue so I’d leave her out. Both Steele (a former Roman Catholic Seminarian) and Jindal have a more ‘homiletics’ style of presentation, and this is why, even as young, diverse and dynamic as they might be, they still don’t have the ‘bling bling’ of Obama. And that you cannot change. But we can try to offer a variety of voices. I agree with your approach, I just wanted to give you my cultural/religious perspective as to why Jindal sounded ‘flat.’ What say you Jeff?

  7. Pat in NC says:

    Jeff, I like your kitchen table idea with multiple speakers responding. If they know in advance the specific area each will address it will allow for specific facts to be introduced. Although the press got some advance copies of Obama’s speech, I doubt that Jindal was so prepared. Time constraints alone make it difficult to adequately identify specifics of all points covered and allow a completely thought out response. With multiple speakers listening intently for all references to their assigned responses might make for clearer and more complete responses.The speakers could concentrate on conservative principles they want to include and look for aspects in the speech that contradict these principles.
    Jindal did manage to convey that bipartisan effort does work and that Republicans must be allowed to present ideas, bills and amendments instead of being shut out as they were in the House re the stimulus bill. He also clearly stated that Republicans cannot merely be obstructionists but must be prepared with better ideas. This was always my complaint with the previous sessions of Congress in that the Democrats obstructed, complained bitterly but never offered any ideas that might have led to better policy.

  8. Lisa says:

    Jeff:

    I couldn’t bear to watch O’s speech, and didn’t watch Jindal either, but did read your analysis. Your ideas are absolutely correct! I think the major problem is that the country does not know ONE thing about correct economic policy…not even most of the Republicans in Congress. R’s need to get the message out LOUD AND CLEAR that the government has been interfering in our markets for a very long time and have actually facilitated the irresponsible and reckless decisions of the big institutions! WE HAVE GOT TO REEDUCATE THE PUBLIC! Truly leave the market alone, TRULY, and it will regain health quickly. The R’s do a horrible job at informing and proving capitalism when given the chance. They should just ignore what O says and give a REAL explanation of the problem.

    Please do something for all of your dedicated bloggers: Please, please send a copy of your piece to Jindal and Michael Steele. They could use some good advice right now.

    Thanks for everything! BTW, have you read “Meltdown” yet? As if you don’t have anything else to read right now while in law school……
    I finished it and it is fantastic! I understand economics so much better now!

  9. MaryAlice says:

    Illegals to receive millions in Stimulus $$ for foreclosures

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=89967

  10. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t watch Barry or the Republican response but I did watch some of Bernanke’s report on Tuesday morning. No doubt Barry continued on with his stint as Bob Barker on the The Price is Right, granting dollars to all who picked his curtain.

    Bernanke is the guy to watch. I don’t have an exact quote, but when he was being questioned by two Republican senators, one of their questions led to a response by Bernanke which kind of explained everything. The Fed does not want the banks to go bankrupt because of foreign pressure to prop them up. The senators should have probed more deeply into finding out why it is imperative that the banks be subsidized by taxpayers when the laws provide for their closure.

    I have a sinking feeling that the Fed is being threatened and the oh so convenient taxpayers are paying the price. This is why America needs to shut down the Fed. Now.

  11. sharon says:

    Great piece Jeff, I agree.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    I am amazed at how well you can articulate what I am feeling and how accurate you are in assessing the weaknesses and needs of the Republican Party. If only we had a leader who could enunciate and present our position with the clarity and passion that you display!! As I watched Bobby Jindal walk up to the podium and heard the commentator remark “Oh, my God” I knew we were sunk….his lack of confidence and authority was evident as he approached the microphone and he looked frightened. As you have so precisely pointed out, this was a squandered opportunity for the Republicans to effectively challenge Obama’s empty rhetoric with conservative substance but we dropped the ball. Are we so beaten down and intimidated by the dimwits and OHHHHbama that we can’t muster a passionate and substantive response to this BS that is spouted out by these nitwits??? We need someone with some backbone who can speak to the issues where we differ from the dims. We have a MESSAGE, we just don’t have a MESSENGER who can deliver! We must find our VOICE and if we don’t, we will be swallowed up by this agenda that is focused on building up their voter base thru illegal aliens, census control and job patronage. Even when OHHHbama makes stupid remarks like Biden is in charge of the stimulus and “nobody messes with Joe”, it is glossed over and ignored although everyone knows that the only ‘fear’ anyone has of Biden is that he may thrust us into some dilemma because of his stupidity. Excellent commentary, Jeff and at least you have the foresight to propose some different approaches to handling our responses in the future. God help us to find our messengers soon!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I was disappointed in Bobby. He was down-right flat! What we need and what I had expected–considering the extreme anger and frustration over this Obamination and his Devil’s advocates–is someone who will express righteous indignation: a real on-fire politician who will call a spade a spade! Why didn’t we get Sarah Palin or Michael Steele to give this commentary? Let’s push for someone to represent us who can hammer away at the best of them; someone with real smarts and eloquence, someone like Ronald Reagan! Wake up you Conservatives and stand up against this bunch of Chicago punks with the fervor of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh! Nice is not going to cut it!

  14. goddessdivine says:

    It’s too bad because this was my first real encounter with the man. And it was disappointing. I felt like he was talking to a bunch of children, or simple-minded folks (Maybe he was catering to the average Obama supporter….) Totally lackluster and uninspiring.

    btw–I love your ideas for next year’s format. Perhaps you should be in charge ;-)

  15. Gail B says:

    I watched both because I knew all of you would be watching, too.

    Obama has the ability to charm an audience. He had a podium and an audience to address and applaud his every word. (Pelosi won’t have to go to the gym this week after all the jumping up and down and clapping she did.) Thankfully, I did hear some boos from the Republicans during his pitch.

    Jindal had no podium and no human element present. He appeared to me that he felt he was under extreme pressure, like a school kid making his first oral report to the class, but to a camera instead of to his friends. Another camera angle would probably have helped. Well, anything would have helped! He was, as you said, supposed to have knocked their socks off. Mine stayed on.

  16. Kris says:

    I don’t think there is any need for any response to this guy and all the staging that inevitably is involved. He will fall when the sheeples, becoming boiling frogs, wake up one day and realize that they really don’t like those promised results of all this “paying to play”. Temporary bandaids will do nothing down the line. People will learn the hard way. The delusioned usually do. Everyone’s comments here just provide the inevitable feeling that the only thing that would “work” would be to supply another stupid snake oil salesman, attempting to use the same hypocritical tactics that the “one” just used. A mature presentation of conservative values, no matter the delivery, won’t work at the present time – when preaching to the unthinking fearful spoiled.

    Sorry, but those who really ought to face the real facts about the present dire conditions of the world they live (and not followed by an OTOH we’re gonna divert your attention by giving you more candy to ease your pain and make you love us) don’t want to hear any GOP fatherly correction. They only want their “messiah” to continue to fool them. Them’s the facts at the present moment and not many are open to facing them. Obama knows that and is playing the foolish crowd like, well, what they are.

  17. Kris says:

    Maybe they should have had these street credited witnesses to be an unexpected response that could have really shocked the media, amongst others. New volunteers to the truth:

    DATE:_24 February, 2009
    Attn. Orly Taitz, Esq.
    26302 La Paz, Ste. 211
    Mission Viejo, CA 92691

    I agree to be a plaintiff in the legal action to be filed by Orly Taitz, Esq. in a PETITION FOR A DECLARATORY JUDGEMENT THAT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA IS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT of the U.S., nor TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF of the U.S. ARMED FORCES, in that I am or was a sworn member of the U.S. military (subject to recall), and therefore when serving as an active member of the military, I would be unable to follow any orders given by a Constitutionally unqualified Commander In Chief, since by doing so I would be subject to charges of aiding and abetting fraud and committing acts of treason.

    TYPED NAME /or Signature: James R. Cannon

    POSITION IN THE MILITARY/ Retired as Assistant Director for the reserves, 6th MCD

    RANK/ Major

    SERVICE BRANCH, United States Marine Corps

    DATES SERVED/STATUS: 6 August 1953-1 December 1977 Major Retired

    OCCUPATION: Retired (Disabled)….Combat Veteran

    ACHIEVEMENTS: Awarded Silver Star for Conspicuous Gallentry, Awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V”,Two (2) Purple Hearts, Gold Medal for best Squad Leader in the World, 14 other awards and decorations

    along with this other recent volunteer giving his reasons here:

    Major General Childers’ P.E. [Professional Engineer] (Retired) letter:

    I can present a long list of reasons, taken individually, which convinced me NOT to vote for Barack Hussein Obama; his crime associates in the USA, his lack of experience, the mystery of his citizenship, his promise to make coal power industry bankrupt through excessive regulations, his constant adjustment of position on issues, his tax plan, his spread the wealth admission, his obvious socialistic goals, his associations with foreign leaders unfriendly to the USA, the lies he tells about a range of subjects including perhaps who his biological father really is, his most recent revelation of having a “National Security Force” (whatever that is)……………all of these says he is a person of mystery, of no integrity, and in fact paints him with the same narcissist paint of Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, and Kim Jong Ill.

    But then, there is a simple more direct, easier to understand reason that I did not vote for him and that is his lack of respect for the country that is giving him the opportunity to run for the highest office in the land……..even though I personally think he is not constitutionally eligible.

    But more than 50% of America voted for this charlatan and he now has the helm of the ship of state. Even so, he is not MY President. I will not refer to him as such. I will call him Resident Obama, and an illegal resident of the white house at that. I resent him for what he is not. He has not given proof that he is a natural born citizen of these United States. He has spent millions of dollars protecting the truth of his birth from public knowledge; therefore, it is obvious he has something to hide. He is an interloper, a usurper, a fake, a scam artist, a Chicago crook, a recipient of bribes and gratuitous income for which he paid no tax, a socialist (perhaps only a communist or Marxist), and a grave danger to the future of the America that I love and have protected since I was 17 years old.

    I have told my two senators and my member of the House of Representatives. I have written 9 justices of the Supreme Court as well as President Bush before he left office. NONE have responded, therefore, they are all complicit and should all be severely punished for having failed in their sworn oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The instant Obamb was sworn in, he violated the oath he took because he took the office knowing he is ineligible and there stood Judge Roberts who should have immediately had Obama arrested and deported.

    Other than this, my key short-term complaint is that he has not had a heart attack in office. But most important, what I really want is the truth; is Obama a natural born citizen of the United States. If not a natural born citizen, America has been defrauded and then we would be stuck with Joe Biden whose only redeeming attribute is that he is probably not a communist.

    Carroll D. Childers P.E.
    Major General (Retired)

    http://defendourfreedoms.us/2009/02/24/major-general-commanding-general-carroll-d-childers-joins-military-suit.aspx

    I have my doubts that even Glenn Beck would permit this fellow a seat at his daily program table!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Helloooo, Bobby….. got a pulse?

    What the heck is going on? Is the GOP intentionally trying to lose? If so, they are doing a bang-up job.

    Why is everyone on this board so afraid of Palin? It looks like the MSM has painted you in the corner, right where they want you. Yes, they would have heckled her but you have to understand WHY…. it is b/c she strikes a deep, deep chord in Americans. She is threatening and they are afraid of her. I can take the heat… it only draws more people to her.

    I refuse to vote for another schmooze like I saw last night. They either put someone forth that represents real change (like Palin or Reagan) or I’m outta there. I will vote for 3rd party rather than cast my vote for a typical Washingtonian. Blech.

    I didn’t leave the GOP — the GOP left me.

    P.S. Please do give this man Jindal a second go on anything important. Let him prove himself in other venues. It is too important to allow this man to squander another opportunity.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, BTW, I love your idea of a round table. This is what we need. Not status quo but thinking outside the box! Let’s do it different than it has ever been done before.

  20. MUJERLATINA says:

    I reviewed a video of Jindal’s rebuttal from last night. While he was not dynamic, he was no different in presentation style from any Democrat I’ve watched over the past 8 years giving a rebuttal after a Bush State-of-the-Union Address. We’ve been duped by the Obama-knights that we must do a ‘bling bling thing’ to grab attention and power back. Jindal is a brilliant, albeit Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, sans sweater, type. But the man is intellectually keen, well-educated, spiritual and conservative who would run the “ship” in a calm and forceful way during these stormy times. Let’s not trash Jindal because we’re frustrated. Let’s stand behind him and our Party and refuse to be further brainwashed by the Democrats.

  21. Anonymous says:

    While I agree with many of the points you made, I watched Obama’s speech and was unimpressed. He’s certainly got style, but he didn’t say much of substance, and the enthusiastic standing ovations were so obviously expected, I bet they were listed in the program. I didn’t watch Jindal’s response, but I read the text, and I was impressed. Not blown away, not completely satisfied, but it’s a start. Obama said nothing I hadn’t heard before and I’ve seen better oratory on reruns of The West Wing. We need some power in the Conservative corner, no doubt. Let’s focus on the work in progress. Right now we’re not even on the field. We can’t expect a homerun every time. I think baby steps will bring us back responsibly. Celebrity fades. Conservative intelligence stays.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I wish I had editing privilege on your site because if I did I would strike thru the “Somewhat” on your title and replace it with an “Extremely.” Yes, Extremely Lacking

    Boo. Hiss.

  23. Gail B says:

    Jeff, don’t sell yourself short! (“I know it’s not perfect. I’m not a professional spin-artist. I’m not a Washington insider.”)

    You are politically oriented. You have a degree in journalism. You have experience in covering such events. You are obviously above average in intelligence (look at your grades and everything you have put on your plate). If you say we need something or that the rebuttal should have been done differently, we gladly take your word for it.

    I was waiting for the pin to burst Obama’s balloon, but Jindal did not bring use it for a powerful, finishing bang.

  24. Jay in AZ says:

    I think Republicans are banking too much on Jindal. He seems like a nice guy and all, but he is a junior politician. Why don’t we get some growly old dog to do the biting. Obama’s worst enemy is a plain speaking and respected wise old man or woman who has seen it all and doesn’t buy his lofty worded crap, not his junior politician equal.

  25. dc says:

    Thanks for this Jeff.
    What comes to mind when I read it is a “red flag” or UPSIDE DOWN American flag.

    The “pressure” Jindal was under may have been more than stage nerves, more like a “life/death threat” that made him ‘not himself’.

    When someone holds back and doesn’t follow thru, there’s a reason.

    If the “threat is devastating enough” it constricts ones voice and ability to be a implementing force, knowing if he doesn’t abide “all Hell will result.”

    Once again, we are not in the arena of “fair play” and the stakes are for all the marbles. The “means” to accomplish their goal is simple: “use anything and everything” to win. Ask Foster, and others … why the silence, back-stepping and … fear?

    That is the question we need the Light of Truth to reveal and then “deal accordingly.”

    http://www.aim.org/guest-column/the-great-birth-certificate-scandal-cover-up-of-the-2008-election/

  26. Anonymous says:

    Why is everyone focused on Jindal’s poor delivery? Why do we not point out well delivered lies by our president. The content of Jindal’s message is what I heard, and he is a man that can be trusted.

  27. Let us move forward says:

    This was Jindal’s first crack at this and he was thrown to the wolves. A lot of pressure I’m sure.

    He will learn with experience if given the chance.

    Huckabee probably would have been more comfortable in this situation.

  28. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -
    I cannot bear to listen to Obama – the sound of his voice is like nails on a blackboard to me. Neither can I stomach his lies & meaningless rhetoric. I truly believe the person we are looking for is Mike Huckabee. He has all the qualities your readers are looking for & he is a very dynamic speaker with a real BACKBONE!
    I agree that you should forward this excellent article to Jindal, Steele & also to Huckabee. Thanks for this site – I check in almost every day, & I'm never disappointed, always inspired.

    Susan

  29. sharon says:

    Here is my two cents… Love Bobby,.but he cannot beat Obama, Palin can. period. He is a conservative, and got the message out, I listened to the words and he was in stark contrast to what we have in office. Palin will no longer allow the GOP elite to tell her what to say, she will go straight to the American people. At this stage in my life I am concentrating on who will beat this guy in the next election before it is too late.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Once again you made great points, Jeff. I really like the idea of a panel to cover more of the Conservative principles, and it would not be as static as having one person trying to cover all the pertinent points to be made.

    Michael Steele has good presence and speaks well, and I was very impressed with the way Michele Bachmann came on against the libs, in a youtube clip several months ago. The Dems were all shook up about her. She would be good, but as you say, probably tied up.

    Sarah Palin comes across to her audiences just great, and as she has shown, also has great presence, and can ‘wing it’ and not be at a loss for words. Even better, she strikes to the heart of the lies and fakery of the Dems. She is one that they really feared. I have not heard some of the others that you named actually speak, but there is a lot of young new talent coming on.

    bebe

  31. dc says:

    Not everyone wants to be under his thumb:
    Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/19303.html

  32. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we Conservatives have more help coming after all.

    Another serviceman, Major General Commander General Carrol D. Childers has added his name to Orly Taitz Esq military lawsuit against Obama.

    http://defendourfreedoms.us/2009/02/24/major-general-commander-general- carrol-d-childers-joins-military-suit.aspx

    And this one will really floor you; no way in this world would I ever have believed that this man would speak out against Obama.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/19303.html

    Byrd: Obama in Power Grab

    And from Drudge:

    Archbishop warns about “spirit of adulation” surrounding president.

    Are more people awakening from their drugged sleep?

    bebe

  33. Anonymous says:

    Forgot to say that true to form the DOW is down again today after the
    speech. Mr Market does not like Mr O, and they say the market “is forward looking”.

    bebe

  34. Anonymous says:

    http://citizenwells.wordpress.com

    Scroll down to post by LM @ 1:45 pm

    It appears that this message was sent to many in government in 11/08.
    If/when it was received, why has it not been acknowledged or reported?
    How has everyone been silenced????

  35. BlueWater says:

    Bobby immediately started by praising the country for electing Obama – what a nice moron. This party hasn’t learned anything. Then, to make matters worse, you don’t fight by pointing out how similar you are to your opponent. If you’re so similar, why bother listening to the rest? I fell asleep. Get me a fighter – he ain’t it.

  36. BlueWater says:

    No offense Jeff, but describing Bobby as “a little too cordial” is like saying “syrup on Fruit Loops is a little sweet.”

  37. sharon says:

    Anon. where is it? LM as in left message?

  38. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Bluewater,

    This wasn’t Jindal’s best, and with such the hatred coming from the left over the past eight years, I welcomed at least a little cordiality. After the introduction is where it needed to stop.

    Don’t give up on Bobby just yet. I still really, really like the guy — I just hope last night’s underwhelming performance is enough to shake up the GOP a little.

  39. Jeff Schreiber says:

    And please don’t call the man a moron. He’s a conservative, a Christian, and one hell of a governor.

    Constructive criticism is fine — let’s save the venom and the vitriol for the other side, please.

  40. BlueWater says:

    Oops – I did say moron – and I am sincerely sorry for that. Won’t happen again, and I’m embarrassed that it happened this time.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I think that there is too much criticism of Bobby Jindal. One would think that this is “Americal Idol” rather than a competition of free-market ideas and personal integrity over deceit and failed Socialist policies. Apparently we would prefer “experience” in stage presence rather than demonstrated experience in actually managing a state.

    As I have expressed in past comments, I’m not sure that a mature, Judeo/Christian-values-based (which served as he basis for all that the Founders envisioned for the United States) Republican candidate can win a national campaign in the future.

    We have become a nation of children – children “educated” in the values of the “community organizer” – an educational system designed and populated with individuals such as William Ayers. Demographics are an almost an irresistable force. A nation of needy, self-centered children who have no interest in personal responsiblity or sacrifice, regardless of whether it’s a moral or a financial issue.

    So we need to field the very best candidate that we can, in terms of what’s really important, rather than try to compete with “bling”. Then let the chips fall where they may.

    It may be the best thing, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, if the U.S. suffers a complete collapse that will clearly demonstrate the superior value of our conservative policies and Judeo/Christian-values-based culture.

    If you study history, you will find that this is almost the universal outcome of a society that goes down the path that the Obama adminstraiton is taking us. Hence,I see no reason to discount the idea that this is what the future holds for us. I hope that I’m wrong.

    Old Bob

  42. Anonymous says:

    Don’t people LISTEN anymore? Why is america so focused on the delivery of a speech rather than what is said? Style over substance. We should be talking up the SUBSTANCE of Gov. Jindal’s speech as much as the MSM talks up Obama’s style.

  43. tm says:

    I caught the video of Bobby Jindal this morning with meredith viera and I also listened to Jindal on Hannity today.
    I really wish that what he said today could have been last night
    Maybe because I was so mad after the State of Lies from BOBO that I just wanted someone to come out and pound.
    I found Jindal absolutely right on all points and his delivery when it wasn’t scripted was helluva lot better.
    I was to angry last night.
    Maybe Mr. Steele has a clue
    I really hope so

  44. Anonymous says:

    I do think BJ redeemed himself today. I really think he had handlers coaching him as they did with SP. They need to just ignore the advice and be themselves. BJ proves to be much better speaking extemporaneously which means he could cream 0 in a debate.

  45. Jeffhas says:

    Just my opinion – as a Dem in Exile – You’re gonna have to have a star go up against Obama. You’re right, Jindal lost his mojo in that speech, and given that you will have three more of these opportunities, you should mix it up. Palin was lucky not to be the first out of the gate here. In my humble opinion, she needs to be seasoned a bit more, study hard, and come back just a bit more convincing intellectually, and she can own the guy.

    She has the STAR power to challenge him, and the Dems know it, they are so threatened by her, she is the only Repub with the kind of attention getting energy to challenge Obama’s. Perhaps with a year or two of over exposure for Obama, enthusiasm for him will wane, and she can have an opportunity… the GOP should not fear her, they should help her get more familiar with details, yet I think she’s strong enough to keep her own brand.

    Mitt could certainly handle one of these nicely, and possibly Cantor.

    The ‘kitchen table’ idea sounds interesting – but then you get the ‘they needed three to compete with just one Obama’ comparisons. The Graphic idea strikes me a bit better – although the cheesy factor may be too much (someone should check it out first), being different shouldn’t preclude it from happening… but you will be compared based on 1 Dem Party leader, so another party leader has to emerge to offer a real alternative.

    I hope the GOP gets it together – I’m ready to support your party, and there are more of me out there… just give me someone solid to hang my hat on.

    Thanks!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I like his ideas, but I don’t think he can be POTUS since his parents were not citizens when he was born.

  47. CAL says:

    I love your kitchen table idea and making the response more like a roundtable – as long as people do not talk over each other. That would be more interesting for people to watch and more real. Send your idea to Micheal Steele. I have never heard someone who gave a response get such terrible reviews from the media. I think they went way overboard in their criticism and they would have done the same to whoever did the response and no matter how well the person did. This is all about propping up Obama and destroying republican credibility.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Mike Huckabee is the only Republican who can hold a candle to Obama in speeches. He was great at CPAC on Thursday.

    I think that kitchen table idea could come off as cheesy. Then we would have lost another opportunity to shine. Huckabee can be the orator we need to give back to Obama in spades. Mitt usually comes across as wooden and plastic. You put him around that kitchen table and it will sound like it was read. Remember how bad he did at the Convention…his speech was awful.

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