Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

The “Oh God” heard round the world

From Real Clear Politics:

As Gov. Jindal prepares to give the Republican response to Obama’s address, an MSNBC host or producer was heard off camera muttering “Oh God.”

The remark came after host Keith Olbermann paused the panel’s discussion as Gov. Jindal was walking to the camera.

Turns out it was your friend and mine Chris Matthews:

I was taken aback by that peculiar stagecraft, the walking from somewhere in the back of this narrow hall, this winding staircase looming there, the odd anti-bellum look of the scene. Was this some mimicking of a president walking along the state floor to the East Room?

Chris Matthews must be Nostradamus because his pre-speech “oh God” happened to be exactly what many on both sides of the aisle were saying during and after the speech.

A lot has been made over where exactly Jindal went wrong; was it the delivery of the speech? The production? The substance?

I would argue all three.

The delivery was probably the worst of it all. Yes, Governor Jindal sounded like Kenneth the page, but that is beside the point. When you’re delivering a speech of this magnitude the delivery is one of the most important aspects of it. Governor Jindal sounded rushed, out of his element, uncomfortable, and just plane strange. If the delivery is off, it doesn’t matter if you are announcing a cure for cancer, it will be flat, and Governor Jindal fell flat.

As for the production, it fell just as short. Chris Matthews is right. The slow walk out to the non existent podium subtly but intentionally brought to mind a President making a speech to the American people. It didn’t work. It was distracting.

And most importantly, the substance of the speech was all wrong.

This is the Republican response to one of the most important economic speeches in the last two decades. Using the first two minutes of said response to give your first Presidential Campaign bio pitch and then littering the rest of the speech with subtle references to your record in Louisiana was way off base. Ther American people don’t care.

And are you kidding me with evoking Hurricane Katrina? Have we forgotten which party was in power during Hurricane Katrina? If the Republicans are going to blast Democrats and say “the failure of the stimulus will be on the shoulders of the Democratic President and Democratically led Congress” can’t we say “the failure of the stimulus is on the shoulders of the Republican President and the Republican led Congress?” And did you forget the billions in federal aid that Louisiana received before and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? You didn’t seem to have an issue with the federal Government then.

And even if you can get past the campaign speech, the absurd Hurricane Katrina reference, the deceitful digs about where stimulus money is going, the flat one liners that gave off not even the smallest impression that Republicans have the slightest idea about how to strengthen and eventually fix our economy, and the discussion of a non existent Republican health care plan, Governor Jindal’s speech was just bad.

President Obama spent 45 minutes laying out the Democrats’ strategy on the economy. Governor Jindal spent 12 minutes talking about how bad the Democrats are and pitching himself for President in 4 years. That is not a rebuttal. A rebuttal implies discussing why the opposing side is wrong and offering up ones own ideas. It’s also not an adequate response. Because people are terrified right now. There is only a small percentage of Americans who can ever remember the economy being as bad as it is right now. People want ideas and plans. Any and all. The more the better. Governor Jindal provided none, and that is why he is getting universally panned.

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February 25, 2009 - Posted by | Politics | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The thing that kills me about this “bipartisan” nonsense is that the Republicans spent so much time arguing the stimulus and stripping away dollars from programs that could use it (mostly because they didn’t agree with their principles) only to not vote for it. Not one voted for it. If they weren’t going to vote for it, why present this bipartisan shenanigan at all? That was a hugely partisan “Screw you.”

    Comment by Carly | February 25, 2009


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