The Slatest

Bobby Jindal Announces Presidential Run Via Nanny Cam in Unconventional First Day on Trail

Republican presidential candidate and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal waves with his wife Supriya Jolly after formally announcing his campaign.

REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would like to be president. A lot. He’s felt that way for some time now. The only problem is to become president other people have to want you to be president too. This has proven problematic for Jindal and has led to a series of increasingly off the rails comments to make sure the fading spotlight of 2008 doesn’t abandon him altogether. That human, rock-and-roll desire to burn out rather than fade away led to the most unconventional of Jindal’s statements on Wednesday—He’s running for president, whether you like it or not.

The 44-year-old, two-term governor took an unusual approach to his first day as a presidential candidate. Off beat is probably not a terrible strategy for a leader looking for a following. “The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found just one Republican primary voter out of 236 polled who said Mr. Jindal was his or her choice for president,” the Wall Street Journal writes. “A Suffolk University poll of New Hampshire Republicans released Tuesday found two of 500 people who like the Louisiana governor best.”

Jindal’s first somewhat bizarre step into the presidential candidate pool was to release a video. The footage, which appears to resemble semi-scripted reality TV, is taken from a vine covered tree—yes, a tree—as Jindal orchestrates a totally authentic family chat with his wife Supriya, daughter Selia, and sons Slade and Shaan.

Jindal then formally launched his campaign using a more mainstream approach—a speech at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana. During his address, Jindal took the unusual approach of going straight after the slight frontrunner of his own party, Jeb Bush.  

Now, let’s do something different and tell the truth about our political situation. Republicans must stop being afraid to lose. If we try to hide who we are again…we will lose again. You’ve heard Jeb Bush say that we need to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election. Let me translate that for you, I’m going to translate that from political-speak into plain English. He is saying that we need to hide our conservative ideals. But the truth is, if we go down that road again, we will lose again.

So, you know, the gloves are off. Jindal wrapped up his remarks with some haymakers at Hillary Clinton.

I would be wary of a president who didn’t seek wisdom from the Almighty. I don’t know about you, but I’ve met many very smart people who lack wisdom. Yet Christianity is under assault today in America. But the liberals have forgotten their history. Religious liberty is not some quaint notion from the past. It is fundamental to our freedom. That’s why it is protected in the First Amendment to the Constitution. I’m going to say this slowly so that even Hillary Clinton can understand it. America did not create religious liberty, religious liberty created the United States of America. And it’s time we stopped trying to divide ourselves against each other. Hillary Clinton is already trying to divide us by ethnicity, by gender, and by economic status. As for me, I’m sick and tired of people dividing Americans. And I’m done with all this talk about hyphenated Americans. We are not Indian-Americans, Irish – Americans, African– Americans, rich Americans, or poor Americans – we are all Americans…

It’s time to level with the American people. This President, and his apprentice-in-waiting Hillary Clinton, are leading America down the path to destruction. Economically, culturally, and internationally. But the most devastating thing they have tried to do is redefine the American Dream.

You have to admire his pluck, if not his content or tone. And Jindal is the early leader in the Periscope primary, appearing to be the earliest campaign adopter to the live streaming video service. What could possibly go wrong?