05 September 2007

baton rouge morning advocate: piyush "bobby" jindal does disservice

via jindalisbad.com
maybe the state's main stream media is slowly waking up to the obvious. to what a lot of people have been saying about the piyush scam
all along. then again, why does one need the media to state the obvious when anyone who's heard the old saying about when something appears too good to be true -- then it is!

Our Views: Jindal does disservice
Advocate Opinion page staff
Published: Sep 5, 2007 - Page: 6B

Gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal is embarrassing himself and doing voters a disservice by repeatedly ducking candidate forums.

A man who would be governor should be willing to test himself and his ideas in the arena of public debate and discussion.

The Kenner Republican did a double disservice this past week when he backed out of a League of Women Voters forum. The public not only missed an opportunity to see and hear Jindal, but other candidates for governor as well.

Jindal’s action led to postponement of a forum that had been scheduled for statewide telecast at 8 p.m. Tuesday from the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. A panel of college students was to have questioned the candidates. The League of Women Voters hopes to reschedule the forum, but no new date has been set.

Jindal didn’t bother to offer an excuse for declining to participate, failing to respond to at least four requests for comment from The Advocate.

Republican candidate John Georges, a New Orleans businessman, also declined to participate after learning Jindal had backed out.

Jindal has not yet appeared in a candidate forum during this campaign. Jindal’s campaign manager has said the congressman will appear in one forum scheduled Sept. 27 at Louisiana Public Broadcasting and another scheduled Oct. 17 by WAFB-TV and WWL. Both dates would be very late in the game. The primary election is scheduled Oct. 20.

Jindal is a smart, articulate man with a large and loyal following. He appears to be the front-runner in the gubernatorial campaign, and some observers say they believe Jindal might win outright in the primary and avoid a runoff.

That makes it all the more disappointing that he seems determined to avoid for as long as possible the challenge of going toe-to-toe against his opponents in a public forum.

Such an event is of far greater value to the voters than canned sound bites and slick, carefully packaged political commercials. Forums offer voters an opportunity to see and hear candidates together, to take their measure and to see how they compare with each other.

Avoiding forums is something campaign front-runners often do, hoping to avoid making mental and verbal blunders, and to keep from elevating opponents in the public eye.

If that is smart politics, it also is political cowardice.