Friday, February 27, 2009

# Posted 6:33 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

CONSOLATION FOR JINDAL: In light of the kind words I had for Bobby Jindal earlier in the week, I thought I should weigh in on his response to the President's address. It hurts to say it, but the speech was awful. It was a lost opportunity of epic proportions, unequaled since...

Bill Clinton's awful nomination speech at the 1988 Democratic Convention. The speech was so long and so boring that the entirely Democratic crowd cheered when Clinton finally said "In conclusion..."

Rising star. Southern governor. Rhodes Scholar. Clinton's example shows that talented politicians do get a second chance.

Now back to Jindal's speech for the moment. I agree with the criticism that Jindal delivered a shopworn Republican message about the need for less government and lower taxes. But the entire party is struggling right now to adapt its message, so if Jindal delivered the old message competently, his speech would've been a footnote, not a headline.

The real issue was the delivery. Although hesitant to praise fellow Manhattan nativeMatt Yglesias lest I validate his condescending snark, I think Matt captured the problem quite well:
Bobby Jindal apparently believes it’s appropriate to address the citizens of the United States in a tone that suggests we’re all nine years old.
Where Matt goes too far is his suggestion that somehow Jindal really thought it was a good idea to sound like an elementary school teacher. I think it makes a lot more sense so say that Jindal was struggling to find an effective tone that balanced his own intellect with a more accessible common touch.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
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