dream ticket…

Posted on Saturday 28 February 2009

Drip, Drip, Drip …
Talking Points Memo
By Josh Marshall

Well, it just gets better and better. As you know, we’ve been tracking the debunking of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s tall tale about being right there on the front lines fighting government bureaucracy with Sheriff Harry Lee while the boat rescues were still taking place in the aftermath of Katrina. Well, today, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has a gentle but pretty clear run-down of what happened.

In so many words, in Jindal’s speech Tuesday night he said he was there and part of the story as it unfolded — Sheriff Lee was trying to mobilize civilian boats for roof-rescues and government bureaucrats wouldn’t let them head out without proof of insurance and registration. Lee put his foot down and dared the bureaucrats to come arrest him. And when Jindal put his foot down too Lee said they should come arrest Jindal too.

Only, Jindal’s staff now admits that that actually didn’t happen. Instead of being there and being part of the story, Jindal’s reps now admit that days later Jindal overheard Lee telling the story to someone else. And Jindal retold the story he’d been told while inserting himself into it as part of the story.

It’s not really any different from a lot of tall tales we’ve probably all heard at one point or another when someone takes a fun story they’ve heard and retells it making themselves one of the central characters.

Now, Jindal’s reps are still in high dudgeon over this, saying Jindal was totally on the level, claiming some mix of it not making any difference whether Jindal made up his role in the story or not or that what Jindal actually said was never meant to imply that he was part of the story rather than someone who heard about it later. But that’s pretty preposterous if you look at what Jindal actually said.

But now there’s this. TPM Reader EA just flagged this youtube video that appears to show Jindal telling the same story last year, only with even more embroidery about his own part in the drama…
Politics is a dangerous business for the regular guy who likes to tell a good story. I wonder how many of us could pass the test. But this one kind of stinks. I had wondered how Bobby would come across on television, but I only watched a few minutes. He sounded like someone giving his first toastmasters speech – a “before.” I found myself fantasizing about a Palin/Jindal ticket – donating to make sure they made it through the primaries. The dream ticket for the Democrats…
    March 1, 2009 | 6:12 PM

    Two points:

    1. Jindal as an informal story-teller on the stump sounds much better than Jindal the big deal responder to Obama’s big speech. So maybe he can improve on his pubic speaking.

    2. He makes the bureaucracy sound criminally insane and obstructionist — and maybe it was. But just whose bureaucracy, run by whose cronies, were FEMA and Homeland Security? Bobby didn’t mention that.

    It’s amazing how they’re now trying to sneak in the idea that the Democrats are responsible for anything the government does — or has ever done — that you don’t like.

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