Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Jindal v. Palin

Greta van Susteren interviewed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal yesterday–here’s the link. If you compare Jindal’s interview with Governor Sarah Palin, it’s quite a contrast, particularly when it comes to command of the issues and the ability to articulate their case and the conservative cause. Governor Jindal comes across, I think, very well, which doesn’t surprise those of us who were colleagues of his.

Sarah Palin is another matter. While I think she was treated unfairly — and at times viciously — by some during the campaign, and the post-election trashing of her by unnamed McCain aides was ugly and stupid, one of the first tasks of the GOP is to become what Daniel Patrick Moynihan labeled it in 1980: the party of ideas.

Having watched Governor Palin interviewed several times now, including several times since the election, I think it’s fair to say that whatever talent she has — and she possesses some real political talent and the capacity to strongly connect with Republican voters — her capacity to articulate conservatism and the specifics of policy is not among them. At least not now. At least in my estimation.

That doesn’t mean she should be ridiculed or marginalized or dismissed. She is, after all, the most popular governor in America. But because she is hated by some on the Left doesn’t mean she’s the answer to what ails the conservative movement.

A week and two days after the election, my sense is the GOP needs what Bobby Jindal and a few others possess: a first-rate mind, a command of the issues, and the capacity to present them in a confident and appealing manner.

No one, of course, is going to anoint the next leader of the GOP. That will be determined over time, based on performance and appeal, and eventually, on votes. But one thing is for sure. If the Republican party is going to become politically dominant again, it needs to extend its reach to those who have left the fold. I’m not at all confident Sarah Palin can do that. But time will tell, and I may yet be proven wrong.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.