JINDAL LOVES THAT BOAT STORY
He told it on the campaign trail as far back as the summer of 2007 when he was running for governor, he told it to Rush Limbaugh in February 2008, he told it to a Human Events reporter a few months later, and then he told it again tonight:
During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office I'd never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: 'Well, I'm the Sheriff and if you don't like it you can come and arrest me!' I asked him: 'Sheriff, what's got you so mad?' He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go - when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn't go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, 'Sheriff, that's ridiculous.' And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: 'Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!' Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people.
I can't find full transcripts, but it appears that Sheriff Lee wasn't a character in the story when Jindal told it back in summer '07, and the bit about Jindal and the sheriff offering to be arrested doesn't seem to have been in there until now. (Lee died in October '07, so we can't ask him about it.) I suppose when Jindal tells this story during the 2012 presidential campaign, actual handcuffs will be involved.
And no, I don't believe a word of it, in any version.
UPDATE, THURSDAY: Via Steve Benen, I see I was right to be suspicious. Talking Points Memo has the story.