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Friday, January 25, 2013

Jindal's approach

Bobby Jindal's speech (full transcript here) to the RNC has gotten a lot of attention. One effect it's had on me is to underscore the limits of Twitter, where I read various snipes that offered little substance or context. Having said that, I'm not particularly enthralled by the speech, as I think "let's be smarter but never more moderate" (my paraphrase) is an inadequate political and governing strategy. In any case, Jindal struck some of the same themes shortly after the election, as I mentioned in my latest column (excerpted below).

The last election cycle saw expanded ties between the Republican Party and financial professionals. Figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show that Mitt Romney raised $21,033,028 from donors in the securities and investment industry, more than three times President Obama’s total of $6,146,701. By a broader measure covering donations from all finance, insurance and real estate industries, Romney led by an impressive $57,414,549 to Obama’s $20,000,930. 
However, Republicans may take from Romney’s defeat a lesson that there are significant political liabilities in being perceived as too close to Wall Street. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal embraced that concern in a mid-November interview with the website Politico: “We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” he said. 
How such sentiments will translate into policy proposals remains to be seen. But it is plausible that there will be significant divisions among Republicans over questions of financial regulation, with some calling for tougher rules and others rejecting “overregulation.” 
UPDATE 11:28 AM: David Weigel has some cogent skepticism: "Someone Tell Bobby Jindal Where Gaffes Come From."

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