If one speech in 2009 put a big question mark on his role and ability in American politics,another speech – laced with humour four years later has put the young Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in national limelight.
More than two days after Jindal delivered it on Saturday,the national media is still abuzz with his impressive speech,which even his sharpest critics are saying was far better that of President Barack Obama,who shared the same dais with him.
The Washington Post,in a rare move,yesterday posted the entire speech of 41-year-old Jindal on its website.”Judging from Twitter,the general consensus was that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal brought the house down with his speech. So,we asked the Jindal folks to pass along thespeech,which they did,” the daily wrote.
‘Jindal Big Hit At Gridiron Club And Foundation Dinner’,read The Chicago Sun Times. “On a roll,Jindal went on to compare himself with Obama and mock his own party. He said earnestly that Obama and he had the ‘exact same campaign slogan years ago but unfortunately UPS sued both of us and made us stop using it.You remember our slogan,’What can Brown do for you?’,” it wrote.
“Though Obama may look calm,Jindal zinged,’He is terrified that I will upstage him again,just like I did with that State of the Union response a few years ago.’ Jindal is widely seen as a potential 2016 contender and Jindal did nothing to douse that talk,” The Chicago Sun Times wrote.
Even the Twitter is a buzz with Jindal’s impressive speech at annual dinner of Gridiron Club and Foundation on Saturday night in Washington DC. Founded in 1885,it is the oldest and one of the most prestigious journalistic organizations in Washington,DC.
Its 65 active members represent major newspapers,news services,news magazines and broadcast networks. Its membership is by invitation only and has traditionally been offered almost exclusively to Washington newspaper bureau chiefs. “Jindal Killing It At Gridiron – says he’s talking to Senator Elizabeth Warren ‘as one Indian politician to another’,” wrote Ed Henry,of the Fox News in Twitter.
Henry is the current president of the White House Correspondents Association.Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman twitted: “Bobby Jindal Stole Show At Gridiron. Very Funny And Wry,Erased The Memory Of His Disastrous Reply To Obama State Of The Union Years Ago.” CNN’s Donna Brazile said Jindal Did “Terrific Job.”
“You forgot my home state Governor Bobby Jindal,who I thought did a terrific job last night.”Obama,who thoroughly enjoyed Jindal’s speech and was seen laughing heartedly at the dinner attended by more than600 people,termed it as fantastic and terrific.
In his speech,Jindal poked fun at himself and his”infamous speech” of January 2009 when he was given the Republican mantle to respond to Obama’s first State of the Union Address.
“Actually after my infamous State of the Union response in 2009,I appreciate this opportunity to try to be funny on purpose. I think my performance that night would have been better if I had just taken a 10-minute sip of water,interrupted by 30 seconds of speaking,” he said.
“After my disastrous speech people wrote and said a lot of mean stuff. But when they spoke to me in person,they were kind as can be. But there was one exception to that. My dad.He called that night and said simply this – ‘I told you to go to medical school.’ But what a difference a day makes. Now some people have asked me if I intend to run for President in 2016?” Jindal said.”And the answer is that I have no plans to run. I’ve made that clear,over and over again in Iowa,in New Hampshire and in South Carolina.There is a reason I’ve got no plans to run.I mean,come on. What chance does a skinny guy with a dark complexion and a funny name have to get elected president of
the United States?” Jindal said as he mesmerized the guests. “The truth is – I am too skinny to run. At least that’s what my friend Chris Christie keeps telling me. Chris pointed out that my biceps are half the size of Obama’s guns. Not the president’s,Michelle’s,” he said.And then he revealed that in 2008 the then Republic an presidential candidate John McCain talked to him about the vice presidency.
“I told John not to consider me or even vet me for VP. I wasn’t ready for the job and I was afraid he might do something crazy. glad we avoided that,” he said.Jindal did not spare the Indian politicians either in his humorous speech.
“Great to see the new Senator from Massachusetts -Elizabeth Warren. My staff tells me we’ve got a lot in common. Well from one Indian politician to another,I want to wish you all the best in your new job,” Jindal said amidst another round of laughter from the audience.