The Jindal Effect

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Bobby Jindal has almost single-handedly inserted the Common Core into the presidential narrative as a major campaign issue, siding with moms over experts and distinguishing himself from Jeb Bush, as I noted earlier.

Both Christie and Bush appear to have noticed. Christie said in Iowa he now has “grave doubts” about Common Core. And Jeb Bush, fielding softball questions by his former deputy chief of staff Patricia Levesque, tried to move closer to the moms and away from the elites by de-emphasizing the federal government’s role in education, saying that it “ought to be to enhance reform at the local and state level, not to impose it. Because that doesn’t work…They shouldn’t authorize, they shouldn’t coerce people into taking a certain type of test…They shouldn’t mandate or require a certain type of content or curriculum or standards. There should be none of that.”

Will it be enough?  Voters will decide, but score one for the moms in moving the debate.

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

One Smart MSM Reporter Notes Jindal’s Smart Strategy

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (FEMA Public Domain Photo)

Frank, at least one NBC reporter noted the logic behind Jindal’s move, at least in regards to Common Core.

While most of the media moaned and groaned in an effort to persuade Team Jindal they were being dumb, Leigh Ann Caldwell pointed out:

Common Core is more than the issue du jour for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. His evolving opposition to the national education standards has become his signature cause and one that may help differentiate him in a potentially crowded Republican presidential field.

Jindal, whose second term ends this year, has embarked on a national tour calling for the end of Common Core standards. . . Jindal, who is known for his in-depth knowledge of policy, especially around the issues of health care and education, released a national education reform agenda Monday. Central to his plan to expand school choice and limit the power of teachers’ union is the dismantling of Common Core.

“Perhaps no better example of … unrepresentative government exists in education than Common Core national curriculum mandates,” Jindal’s report states.

Jindal is using Common Core as a symbol of federal government overreach, and lack of responsiveness to ordinary voters.  But in particular, Caldwell notes he is using it, as you said, to spark a debate with Jeb Bush:

Many potential Republican candidates are or have also switched their position. But one potential candidate supports it. And that’s another reason to latch onto the issue. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a fellow Republican presidential candidate who has the name recognition and the network for a serious run, ardently defends his support for it.

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Jindal’s Amazingly Smart Week

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

In one week, Jindal has picked a fight with Jeb Bush on Common Core, with Bush and Obama on marriage (he won’t evolve on gay marriage and is supporting a constitutional amendment if the Supreme Court disagrees), and with the president and the respectable media of nuance on ISIS.

“The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today” has become a Facebook meme. Gov. Jindal’s refusal to backtrack when the nuanced crowd demanded it on the idea of “no-go zones” in France highlighted his theme that assimilation is the issue, not necessarily immigration per se.

To top off his week of brilliantly bad press, he got criticized for a painting some felt was too light-skinned: “You mean I’m not white?” he counterjabbed humorously and moved on.

Let me put on my political analyst hat and tell you something: what we have seen is one remarkably smart and deft political candidate. Even I did not expect it of Jindal, who was supposed to be the Rhodes Scholar policy wonk in the race.

Funny thing is, if you listen to the conventional wisdom, Bobby Jindal had an amazingly bad week, spurred by his increasingly unnuanced (read: idiotic) pronouncements.

I could cite many examples of the bad mainstream media headlines Jindal has generated. In the National Journal, Josh Kraushaar expatiated at length on what he calls the Jindal Contradiction: “The Louisiana governor is one of the most accomplished candidates in the Republican field. Continue Reading

Jindal to CNN: I’m Not For Changing the Definition of Marriage

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal spoke to CNN on February 10 and made it clear that he will not “evolve” on gay marriage. Jindal stated that he is “not one of those politicians,” and that “[his] faith teaches [him] that marriage is between a man and a woman.” He emphasized that he is “not for changing the definition of marriage.”

You can see the video of Jindal’s full interview here. Continue Reading

Jindal Refuses to “Evolve” on Marriage

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Well, that was quick.  A few days ago, I asked if former Gov. Mike Huckabee would be the only candidate to speak forcefully for marriage.

Then, on Feb. 10, Gov. Jindal told CNN firmly and clearly he won’t be “evolving” on marriage and endorses a constitutional amendment to let the states decide if the Supreme Court tries to impose gay marriage.

From the interview:

[T]here are a lot of politicians that have so-called evolved on this issue – remember when Pres. Obama first ran for office, he was for traditional marriage. He saw the polls change; he changed his position. I’m not one of those politicians. My faith teaches me marriage is between a man and a woman. I don’t believe in discrimination against anybody. I’m not for changing the definition of marriage, and that’s why I hope the Supreme Court decides not to overturn what the states have decided… [I]f the Supreme Court were to do this, I think the remedy would be a constitutional amendment in the Congress to tell the courts you can’t overturn what the states have decided…

Terry Schilling is the executive director of the American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

Jindal Slams Common Core in New Education Plan

On February 9, Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal released his 42-page plan for education reform entitled “K-12 Education Reform: A Road Map.” The plan is highly critical of Common Core:

[E]ducation is best directed at the local level, not by the federal government. In today’s debate this brings us to the issue of Common Core, which this plan discusses. When Common Core first came on the scene it was described as an effort led by states to seek high standards for our students. It sounded pretty good.

But Common Core has become a way for the federal government to dictate a national curriculum. Some inaccurately believe that those who oppose Common Core are opposed to high standards. This is simply false.


It’s bad enough that the federal government has begun tying compliance with Common Core to federal funds, but once you see the methods and the homework that accompanies Common Core, the verdict is in, Common Core must go.

You can read Gov. Jindal’s full education plan here. Continue Reading

Iowa Pastors Against Common Core?

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, also a former GOP presidential candidate, speaks at the grand opening of his Iowa campaign headquarters on June 13, 2007, in Des Moines (photo via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0)

A revealing anecdote in a WaPo story by Robert Costa on the emergent GOP presidential campaign suggests the growing importance Common Core will play 2016.

Iowa’s influential Rev. Michael Demastus of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ is not endorsing anyone yet but he has “been inundated with requests for meetings and invitations to political junkets.” For example, Gov. Bobby Jindal invited him down for a Louisiana prayer rally.  Gov. Mike Huckabee traveled with him and other religious leaders through Europe last fall.

“It was fun,” Demastus said of his swing with Huckabee,”But taking me to Europe doesn’t get you my vote. I still have questions for Mike about Common Core.” Continue Reading

On Common Core, Bobby Jindal Leads

The following is adapted from APP Chairman Sean Fieler’s introduction of Gov. Bobby Jindal at the American Principles Project gala on Feb. 5 in Washington D.C.

To the parents from all over the country, from Maryland, New York, Ohio, Louisiana and Indiana that have joined us here today:  you are the reason that we are winning.  And, not just winning, but winning on principle.

And not just any principle, but the principle of human dignity.

For we understand what America’s founders so clearly understood: that we are endowed with rights and dignity not from the state but from our Creator.  If only and only if, we get this foundational principle right will we have a state that serves the people and not the other way around.

From education that respects parents’ role in the instruction of their children, to immigration policy that treats Latino immigrants the way we would want the American immigrants in our own families to have been treated, to honest money that empowers the American people and not just the American government – this one principle underlies all of our APP efforts.

When it comes to education policy, our insistence on the human person as the end of a just society rather than just a means of achieving an elite vision of progress is engendering an outpouring of support from the American people.  Our vision resonates with an American people eager to elevate, not debase, our political debate.

For a healthy desire to shape the next generation, when unduly concentrated in the hands of policy makers, can become something very undesirable.   Continue Reading

Jindal Emphasizes Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage Views

After the American Principles Project’s State Lunch on February 5, LifeSiteNews interviewed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The governor stated that he was “proud to stand up for innocent, unborn life,” and that he was “proud to stand up and say that I believe in the traditional definition of marriage, between a man and a woman.” He urged his fellow potential candidates to follow suit and stand up for their conservative beliefs as well. Jindal reiterated that he was “a believer in traditional marriage…a believer in protecting innocent human life, unborn life. [As well as] a strong believer in religious liberty.”

You can read the full story here. Continue Reading