Jindal has been described by State Treasurer John Kennedy as a macro-manager, someone who sets the broad overall policy, then relies on aides to carry out the details.Under certain circumstances, these sound like pretty good qualities in a boss. It almost makes you want to work for a guy like that. In Jindal's case, though, it's not that he's a "hands-off" manager so much as he is very interested in limiting his own political liability. He's not empowering the people under him. He's making sure nobody blames him when they
Though the two Republicans elected statewide agree on little, Jindal agrees with that description. His approach is wonkish, focusing on abstract policies, on numbers and charts instead of back slaps.
It’s also a style that has attracted much criticism from legislators and other elected officials who say he is out of touch. Unlike previous governors who parked themselves on the side galleries of legislative chambers, calling lawmakers over for a quick consult, Jindal made only one or two trips per session, and then only briefly. Legislators say they rarely speak directly with Jindal.
Kennedy said he hasn’t had a substantive conversation with Jindal in eight years. When the governor needed help passing a controversial college tuition tax credit bill, however, his then chief of staff, Kyle Plotkin, asked the treasurer to call some legislators, Kennedy recalls.
And Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican who is officially in charge of the state when Jindal leaves on one of his many trips, says he’s never had the governor’s cellphone number.
Besides, as we've seen, he can be very hands-on when he really wants to. It's not the sort of management style that tends to inspire loyalty in those who get burned by it.