Oil Spill Gives Bobby Jindal a 2nd Chance

By criticizing cleanup, governor regains footing

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 26, 2010 10:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bobby Jindal, last seen spectacularly botching his response to an Obama speech last year, may have resurrected his political career thanks to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. The Louisiana governor has ironically been calling for a bigger government response, and criticizing BP's slow, incompetent efforts to fix the leak. In the process, he's managed to piss off both the White House and some Republicans who think he's being too hard on Big Oil, Politico reports.

Jindal's vigorous response—he's been briefed non-stop on the intricacies of the situation, huddles daily with federal officials, and has toured all the affected areas—may have revived his never-secret national ambitions. But allies say he's actually more worried about avoiding comparisons to his predecessor's woeful response to Hurricane Katrina. “Dealing with this kind of disaster is definitely why he believes he was put in office,” says a Republican Governors Association official.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal displays a stick that he dipped into oil on a land bridge built by the Louisiana National Guard to protect wetlands on Elmer's Island in Grand Isle, La., May 20, 2010.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal displays a stick that he dipped into oil on a land bridge built by the Louisiana National Guard to protect wetlands on Elmer's Island in Grand Isle, La., May 20, 2010.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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He didn't give the best speech of his life, but hey, his political career is still on the rise. He's got real leadership capabilities. - State GOP Chairman Roger Villiere,
who's running for Lt. Governor with
Jindal's backing

Bobby has been a little frantic, running around, much more concerned
about how he’ll look on tonight’s TV news. - An anonymous GOP operative

Everything he’s asked for, he’s gotten, except for the sand idea, which has some real possible problems. - An Obama administration official, referring to Jindal's plan to build temporary islands to protect the coast

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