“I was among a number of bloggers invited to dinner at the Governor’s Mansion last week for a mostly off the record chat. As we sat around the table, Jindal shared some of his ideas and his vision for Louisiana.” – Erick Erickson, Human Events.
Erick Erickson of RedState— not to be confused with psychoanalyst Erik Erikson— informs us today of a private bloggers meeting that was held last week in the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge. Governor Bobby Jindal, whose name has recently been tossed around as a second or third tier candidate for veep, apparently wanted national bloggers like Erickson to know why he’s just like Barack Obama… except different and way better! Erickson writes (bold mine):
The contrast between Barack Obama and Bobby Jindal could not be more stark. On the campaign trail this year, Obama serves up messages of hope and change. Last year, running for Governor of Louisiana, Jindal did the same. But Obama’s hope and change consists of platitudes. Jindal’s hope and change was premised on detailed plans and policy roadmaps to move people forward, get Louisiana on the road to recovery, and end the boom-bust economic cycles. Entering his fourth month in office, Jindal’s change has already proved to be change we can believe in.
There’s nothing quite like a syndicated sycophant to inform us ignorant Louisianans about how our governor has turned rhetoric into “reality.” Nevermind the fact that Mr. Erickson was compelled to write this fawning piece only after personally meeting with Jindal and nevermind Erickson’s decision to co-opt language from Obama’s campaign in an attempt to describe Mr. Jindal. It also doesn’t seem to matter that Mr. Obama has, in fact, published numerous policy papers on a much wider range of issues than Mr. Jindal tackled during the governor’s race.
The real issue here isn’t Erick Erickson’s ridiculous article, which includes lines like “Governor Jindal is a master of the new media” amid a series of anecdotes that Jindal’s been repeating since he began his campaign; the real issue is the purpose of this bloggers’ roundtable. And believe me, I don’t think anyone would expect a bipartisan roundtable, but apparently, we shouldn’t even expect a roundtable featuring Louisiana bloggers. I rarely find occasion to stick up for Chad Rogers of The Dead Pelican, but it’s hard to deny the relevance and the popularity of his website. Plus, Chad was a big Jindal supporter.
Yet, when the Governor decided to meet with the “new media,” it seems he forgot to include people like Chad Rogers. Today, Chad issued the following statement on his blog:
Some of you are already asking- was I invited to the clandestine gathering of bloggers at the governor’s mansion?
Well no, for the record, I was not. Nor were many other bloggers that I have spoken with.
It has also been pointed out to me that not being invited could be interpreted as having a general lack of concern about my influence and the influence of other blogs.
Some bloggers may be tempted to go out of their way to demonstrate that the Jindal admin should be concerned.
But I digress.
NOTE: I’m not asking or wondering why I wasn’t invited. But some of you are, and I’m just responding to your questions as best I can. Since I can’t answer each email individually, and I consider it rude to not respond in some fashion, I’m posting this. What else am I to do?
I don’t really care to discuss Chad’s or anyone else’s “influence.” The problem is that Jindal had an opportunity to connect with people who live and breathe Louisiana politics on a daily basis and people who share their perspectives on the news and the issues to a local and/or regional audience, but instead, it appears he used that opportunity to recapitulate his campaign speech to a select group of partisan, national bloggers– people like Erick Erickson, who operates RedState.com from his home in Macon, Georgia.
By the way, this wasn’t Erickson’s only “off-the-record” dinner with our Governor. In his personal blog, “Confessions of a Political Junkie,” Erickson recounts having dinner with then-candidate Jindal on February 11, 2007. Erickson wrote:
It was all off the record, but I can say I had dinner last night with Bobby Jindal, who I hope will be Louisiana’s next governor. He will be awesome.
I know a good number of friends and family from Louisiana read here, so pay attention:
You must do whatever you can under the sun to help Bobby Jindal.
By the way, Erickson recently made news when he said the reason he thinks progressives have an “advantage” online is because “(conservatives) have families because we don’t abort our kids, and we have jobs because we believe in capitalism.”
Really classy guy, Governor.
He must be a real kick at dinner.