Bobby Jindal is going to be a star. Correct that. He is a star already. His star turn came tonight when the Lousiiana Governor gave the Republican response to President Obama's speech tonight. Can anybody say 2012?
In all these areas, Republicans want to work with President Obama. We appreciate his message of hope - but sometimes it seems we look for hope in different places. Democratic leaders in Washington place their hope in the federal government. We place our hope in you - the American people. In the end, it comes down to an honest and fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government. We oppose the National Democrats' view that says -- the way to strengthen our country is to increase dependence on government. We believe the way to strengthen our country is to restrain spending in Washington, and empower individuals and small businesses to grow our economy and create jobs.
In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear - because our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline, and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust - and rightly so.
Tonight, on behalf of our leaders in Congress and my fellow Republican governors, I say: Our party is determined to regain your trust. We will do so by standing up for the principles that we share … the principles you elected us to fight for … the principles that built this into the greatest, most prosperous country on earth. Read Jindal's entire speech here.
Let's face it. John McCain pretty much said those exact words during the campaign. Pretty close to it. But ladies and gentlemen (as Joe Biden would say) it's all about the messenger. In Jindal, the GOP has a new fresh face who is ridiculously bright, very convincing and folksy. He's a little bit of everything. You see it's all about how you package it. It's all about how you are defined as a candidate. Jindal has the advantage of being a guy who has huge upside in the way he's defined. By being a different sort of looking Republican, he has a built in advantage already in a party looking to redefine itself. It molds perfectly together.
The question for Jindal and the GOP as a whole will be this: can they really come up with serious solutions to serious problems or are they just waiting for Obama and the Democrats to fail? In addition, you get the sense that the GOP wants to go back to its fiscal roots but in doing so they need to be careful that they don't look so "retro" that they feel so 1982. Of course 1982 is looked upon as great times from a GOP standpoint but it's not 1982 anymore. Combining old fashioned GOP ideals with new fresh ideas is the key.