Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose campaign for president has been mired in financial troubles, announced Friday that he’s leaving the race, prompting kind words between him and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.It's not surprising that Perry would give parting props to Jindal. The two have shared resources, staff, a commitment to the power of big prayer rallies, as well as a political philosophy based on blatant unabashed pay-to-play cronyism... which is what Perry actually means when he talks about that "limited-government/freedom state" thing.
Appearing at the conservative Eagle Forum in St. Louis, Missouri, Perry told the crowd he considers Louisiana among the pioneers, along with Texas, of the “limited-government/freedom state.” He contrasted that with states like California and New York, which he sees as “government-run welfare states.” (Note: Louisiana’s mention there was an ad-lib and doesn’t appear in Perry’s prepared remarks.
Stephanie Grace alluded to that in passing in a Friday column about this week's Trump vs Bobby slap fight.
Voters around the country might not notice, but his pronouncements on his record in Louisiana regularly irk his own constituents. That’s particularly true of his claim to have been a good shepherd of the state budget, which was balanced on paper this year with a hefty helping of smoke and mirrors. At the Press Club on Thursday, Jindal called Louisiana’s budget a “great example” for Washington, even as politicians back home gird for yet another round of big midyear cuts.That's not quite precise enough, though. Jindal isn't trying to impress "voters around the country" right now. He's going after movement conservatives. Such voters, in Iowa as well as in Louisiana, don't really care about fiscal responsibility. What they care about is "limited government" in the specific sense that they think government gives poor and/or non-white people too much stuff and should stop doing that. Breaking the state budget is a particularly effective way to accomplish "limited government."
Every year's budget brings another crisis by design where lawmakers are forced to make "tough choices" resulting in cuts to education or hospitals or retirement benefits for state employees. And then Jindal can take that on the campaign trail and boast about how he "reduced the size of government." Of course the billions of dollars given away to oil companies and Hollywood South grifters never really gets reined in somehow but, remember, fiscal responsibility is not the point of "limited government."
That's how Rick Perry ran Texas, it's how Bobby Jindal ran Louisiana, and it's why Perry recommends Jindal's model now as he bows out. The problem for Bobby is it's also how Scott Walker did things in Wisconsin. Remember, 2016 is The Year Of The Shitty Governor which is one reason Jindal has had so much trouble standing out in this field. And it's why the Perry bump, if such a thing exists, probably won't be worth much.