If you'd like to persuade a skeptic that political insider journalism must be destroyed and all its practitioners lined against a wall and summarily executed, all the evidence you need is contained in an article by McKay Coppins that was just posted on BuzzFeed: "How Bobby Jindal Got His Mojo Back In 2012."
Start with the premise contained in the title: up to now, have you seen any evidence that Bobby Jindal actually has mojo? Even if you thought he once had some, do you believe he's gotten it back?
Now move on to the photo accompanying the article. Does this photo say "presidential mojo" to you?
Yes, that's Jindal with Rick Perry -- by common consent the worst presidential candidate of 2012, and one of the worst ever.
And the photo matches the article's content. You see, according to Coppins, associating with Perry has done excellent things for Jindal:
The last year has been a bad one for many Republicans, but 2012 was exceptionally kind to Bobby Jindal.Do tell.
The 41-year-old Louisiana governor ends the presidential campaign cycle as a staple on the Sunday talk shows, a regular subject of 2016 speculation, and a legitimate contender to become the next standard-bearer of a party that once again finds itself leaderless.
And the former Rhodes Scholar has Rick Perry to thank for it all.
Jindal endorsed Perry early on in the GOP primaries, at a time when Republicans were stampeding toward the Texas governor, convinced that he would be the nominee. But if Jindal's initial endorsement was unsurprising, his unwavering fealty -- expressed to the bitter end -- impressed many in Perry's camp.And that's a good thing, according to Coppins. A stint as Rick Perry's wingman makes it likely that ordinary citizens in Iowa and New Hampshire and Super Tuesday states will vote for Jindal. Naturally! In fact, when general election voters in key swing states are asked what qualities they're most looking for in a 2016 candidate, "being Rick Perry's wingman" is at or near the top of the list!
"Anything we asked of him, he was there," said one former Perry campaign official. "When the tide was high and when the tide was low, he was a loyal soldier."
Left out of the "BFF" narrative is the extent to which Perry's campaign introduced Jindal to key voter blocs in early primary states, fine-tuned his skills on the stump, and propelled him back into the national spotlight.Coppins is serious: Jindal now has mad skillz because he was schooled in politics by Rick Perry's campaign team.
Though Jindal failed to get his buddy elected president, his efforts left him exceptionally well-positioned for his own run.I'm sure you all remember Jindal being called "a hurricane-fighting super-governor." I'm sure you all remember Hurricane Gustav, that terrifying storm with a "casualty count came in much lower than many had feared." What? No? You don't? None of you? You mean this isn't seared into America's collective national memory?
Judy Davidson, chairwoman of the Scott County Republicans, was present at one of Jindal's first campaign stops with Perry in Iowa last year. His stump speech, she recalled, checked all the boxes of an effective surrogate -- touting Perry's credentials, confidently predicting victory -- but it also managed to weave in the story of Jindal's own greatest executive triumph: his handling of Hurricane Gustav.
In late August 2008, the devastation of Katrina was still an open wound in Louisiana when the state found itself bracing for another potentially disastrous mega-storm. As Gustav barreled toward the coastline, the newly elected governor moved fast, evacuating two million people, securing generators for the hospitals in harm's way, and aggressively mobilizing the National Guard. When the post-Gustav casualty count came in much lower than many had feared, Jindal was heralded across the country as a hurricane-fighting super-governor.
...Meanwhile, among Perry's top aides, there was no denying the utility of Jindal's support -- largely as a shield against the early campaign meme that Perry was a dull-witted George W. Bush redux.Yeah, right -- if it weren't for Jindal, most of America would think of Rick Perry as a drooling Texas dimwit!
Jindal's momentum wasn't slowed when it turned out he had backed a losing horse. His transition to Romney surrogate was frictionless....Yeah, that worked out much better!
In September, ... Jindal joined a weeklong bus tour sponsored by a social conservative group called the Family Leader to campaign against an Iowa justice who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.The campaign failed to unseat the judge, giving Jindal an unblemished record of failure for the year.
Look, I get it: Jindal has punched his ticket with GOP insiders, and he has spin doctors of his own, so he's making his move, of which this article is a part. But there's no evidence whatsoever that Jindal has any credibility with actual voters. Maybe he'll be the Morning Joe green room choice for 2016. But how meaningful is that?
This is a Jindal press release written by someone who thinks he's engaged in actual journalism. Take the blinkers off, McKay. You need a little perspective.