The American Spectator: Dazzling in a Dark Suit
the top floor of the 100 Club, an elegant private club that overlooks the brick-and-cobblestone streets of downtown Portsmouth, N.H. .... one youthful, thin male with the distinct appearance of an aide to a powerful man. One might have thought he was the assistant to whichever man accompanied the dazzling, dark brunette in the flame-red dress ...... almost everyone's attention was directed to the thin man in the middle ..... Those who weren't watching him were watching the woman in the red dress ...... the most striking woman in the building was with none of the taller, more imposing-looking men, but with the unassuming, almost frail one whose off-the-rack navy suit hung loosely from his frame, giving him something of the appearance of a teenage boy going to his first semi-formal dance. ........ a haphazard queue facing the thin, dark-skinned couGoverning: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's Evolving Leadership
Image via Wikipediaple, whom anyone could now identify as the most-VIP in the VIP reception. ....... the man who might one day be the most recognizable, and powerful, person on the planet. ...... All had come to see the man who didn't even fill out his suit ..... his first speech ever in New Hampshire ..... Granite State political operatives size up candidates on how well they can work a room, tell a story, make people smile. ..... swiftly, deftly, and without the slightest hint of insincerity or effort ..... Jindal warmed up the crowd with jokes about being a politician from a state famous for its corrupt politicians. ..... coming across as both reluctant hero and common-sense everyman who doesn't know much, but knows incompetence when he sees it. ...... self-deprecating stories ...... By the time Jindal left, the room was practically vibrating with energy. Every person I spoke with after the event was impressed with the performance, and these are people who have weathered many primaries and met many presidents.
Today another Louisiana governor with presidential ambitions occupies the fourth floor of the Capitol skyscraper that Huey Long built. ...... s Jindal’s bold plans to downsize and transform state government. ..... the nation’s boldest effort at streamlininBobby 2016, Until Then Adios
Image via Wikipediag .... was elected Louisiana’s 55th governor in 2007, he was widely viewed as the Republican answer to Barack Obama. They both have fairly exceptional backgrounds: Obama is half-Kenyan; Jindal is Indian. Obama served as president of the Harvard Law Review; Jindal was a Rhodes scholar. ........ Jindal has developed one of the most sterling resumés in American politics. In 1996, at the age of 24, he was appointed as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Stints followed as executive director of a national commission on Medicare reform, as president of the University of Louisiana System, and as an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2003, he returned to Louisiana and, in his campaign to become governor, suffered an unexpected loss to Kathleen Blanco. He ran for Congress instead and won handily. Four years later, he ran for governor again, and this time was swept into the governor’s mansion with a huge majority. An uninspired response on national television to Obama’s first State of the Union address damaged the new governor’s standing with the chattering classes. An energetic response to the BP oil spill resurrected it. While pundits parse his performances before the cameras, a far more interesting exercise has been playing out in Louisiana. ......... Two years ago, the Jindal administration began one of the most serious efforts to streamline state government in the country. ....... his administration has doubled down on his effort to make government smaller ...... his obvious brilliance and deep background ....... his anti-tax, smaller-government resolve has made him the most popular politician in Louisiana, an incumbent who is a virtual shoo-in for re-election next year ..... Streamlining is strategic. It involves establishing priorities, and then determining how to and who can best achieve them with the resources available. Budget cutting is short term and ad hoc. It often involves accounting gimmicks and across-the-board cuts aimed at balancing budgets for the fiscal year with no regard for what follows. Budget cutting happens during times of crisis. Streamlining tends to happen just after the crisis has
Image via Wikipediapassed, when revenues are rebounding but memories of hard times remain. ....... performance-based budgeting known as “budgeting for outcomes.” ...... the usual budgeting process, a system where departments propose to spend what they spent last year -- or more, if they can -- and look to the legislature to keep funding those expenditures. This “continuation” budgeting process ...... y having her agency define its priorities and force divisions to compete for the resources to deliver them ..... . Health outcomes in the state have been abysmal ...... Outspoken, combative and savvy, Levine was fearless in pushing his conservative agenda. ..... His first step was to call the Legislature into special session to pass an ethics bill. ..... Jindal delegated dealing with legislators to staff. ..... Jindal has focused on articulating broad conservative principles. “No one ever sees him as failing,” he adds, “because he’s committed to principles,” not specific programs. .... Jindal “learned early on that getting into details can get you into trouble” ...... he has focused on the trinity of issues at the heart of modern conservatism: taxes, guns and pro-life issues ...... his leadership style -- hands-on in responding to disaster, hands-off in making policy -- ..... Davis was able to trim the state workforce by eliminating 6,000 authorized postings, outsourcing numerous functions to the private sector. Levine reduced the size of his health department by 25 percent and set the state Medicaid program on the path to managed care. ..... . “We tried in six months to build a new budget process” ...... Tucker voted against the budget. One week later, Jindal retaliated by using his line-item veto to strike funding for several projects in Tucker’s district.