Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Tonight...and more importantly, tomorrow.
As we learned last week, Gov. Jindal will be presenting the GOP rebuttal to the President's address to Congress this evening. Jindal's recent rejection of stimulus dollars for Louisiana and his magnificent explanation of his actions have increased his 2012 chatter to an all-time high.
Tonight we can expect more substantive points made by the Lousiana Governor. Thanks to the President's claims that Republicans refused to provide alternatives to the stimulus, Jindal will hopefully provide an agenda detailing how Republicans would like to see the country move forward. There may be subtle indictments of the Democratic President and Congress, but nothing too spiteful or harsh.
But what will be most interesting to watch will be the response to Jindal from the White House.
Obama's Administration understands that they prefer to control a debate by choosing their opposition. Whether it be Rush Limbaugh or Rick Santelli, this White House has chosen a strategy that greatly differs from the previous one in that it has no problem lowering the stature of the office to the level of a de facto campaign office.
I have little doubt that many will come away impressed with Jindal tonight. So much so that at tomorrow's White House briefing, Obama's Press Secretary will be asked directly what the President thought of Jindal's rebuttal. Now the question will be, is the Obama White House willing to come out swinging, or lay back and simply be complimentary to the Governor?
Rush and Rick are easy targets. They aren't running for anything anytime soon. They aren't in control of budgets or elected leaders. Jindal is another story. He can, and just may, directly challenge Obama in 2012.
The question now is whether Obama wants the campaign to start tomorrow.