Reaction's to Jindal's speech:
As I said, I thought Jindal's comments and presentation was just weird and cringy and awful. But I'm told by multiple readers that David Brooks totally unloaded on Jindal's speech on PBS. We'll try to track down more details.
Fox thought it was teh FAIL.
David Brooks (via MyDD):
JIM LEHRER: Now that, of course, was Gov. Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, making the Republican response. David, how well do you think he did?
DAVID BROOKS: Uh, not so well. You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a very promising politician, and I oppose the stimulus because I thought it was poorly drafted. But to come up at this moment in history with a stale "government is the problem," "we can't trust the federal government" - it's just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic right now. They may not like the way the Democrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea that we're just gonna - that government is going to have no role, the federal government has no role in this, that - In a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignore all that and just say "government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending," it's just a form of nihilism. It's just not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is. There's an intra-Republican debate. Some people say the Republican Party lost its way because they got too moderate. Some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and so he's making that case. I think it's insane, and I just think it's a disaster for the party. I just think it's unfortunate right now.
UPDATE: Video here.
It was also odd for Jindal to keep talking about the need for tax cuts - when Obama just announced a massive tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. He gave no alternative proposal on the financial collapse; and tried to attack government spending simply because it's government spending. In a deepening depression, grown-ups can take a slightly different view of such spending in the short term. But give him his due: he did in the end concede that the GOP currently has a credibility problem on the fiscal issues they are now defining themselves with. This matters - it matters for the future of the GOP and the possibility of minimal accountability after an age that disdained it.
The rest was boilerplate. And tired, exhausted, boilerplate. If the GOP believes tax cuts - more tax cuts - are the answer to every problem right now, they are officially out of steam and out of ideas. And remember: this guy is supposed to be the smart one.
The level of fail in this speech cannot be overestimated. Maybe Jindal can come back from this fail like Bill Clinton did after his poorly received DNC speech in 1988, but Jindal has about 1/200th of the charisma of the Big Dog. Don't quit the day job just yet!
Update: One more from the Washington Post:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal didn't stand a chance. The rising Republican star delivered his party's response to President Obama's hour-long address and simply didn't rise to the occasion. Where Obama in tone and message was relentlessly positive, Jindal's relentless utterance of "Americans can do anything" masked a Debbie Downer negativism that permeated his speech. And coming after Obama's boffo performance, Jindal's Don Knotts-like "golly gee willikers" story-telling and cadence was, how does one put this delicately, downright strange.