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Bobby Jindal, a possible recall and political reality

July 1, 2008 |  7:54 am

Well, this has got to have some effect on the national political prospects for Bobby Jindal, the rising star from Louisiana. (Can a star rise from the South?) Jindal, the Louisiana governor, on Monday vetoed, after promising not to, a pay raise that the state Legislature had voted for itself.

We're not exactly talking big bucks here. The current base pay for legislators is $16,800, and the Legislature wanted to more than Potential_john_mccain_running_mate_double it to $37,500.

Why does this matter? Well, voters tend to hone in on "flip flops" -- note the baggage Mitt Romney carries (see the comments on this post). So the specifics of whether Jindal should or should not have vetoed the measure Monday is less important than the fact that he was tacking like, well, John Kerry out windsurfing.

Why Jindal's change? An uprising among voters, in the form of a recall petition. The Times-Picayune sums up the brief history: "Jindal was widely criticized for failing to stop the raise before it was passed and his initial refusal to veto it. He said he had promised lawmakers that he would not use his veto, but he also pledged during his gubernatorial campaign last year to prohibit an immediate legislative pay raise."

So to recap, first Jindal promised to stop the pay raise, then told legislators he wouldn't stop the pay raise, then -- looking at his own political mortality -- reversed direction again and stopped the pay raise. Jindal fell on the sword Monday, thanking "the people for their voice and their attention" -- that would be the recall petition -- and added: "The voters have demanded change. ... I made a mistake by staying out of it."

But you have to wonder what the odds table says now about Jindal's chances for the co-pilot seat on the Straight Talk Express.

-- Scott Martelle

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