Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The kiddie table

I'm actually only bringing this up because it appears as a throwaway line in the "look back" portion of Stephanie Grace's  2016 predictions column which I think is worth a read on its own merit.

What a fun year this will be, not only for following Louisiana politics,  but also for keeping up with the actual business of governing Louisiana.

The year ahead will bring many tough fights as always. But this time they will be fought more honestly. .. OK honestly is a bit much... but at least with less ideological grandstanding  in play than we've seen in a while.  It might not be pretty but it will probably be of significant  substance.

Anyway I'll let you read Grace's description. Like I said, it's good enough on its own. Instead I'll comment only on this aside about Bobby Jindal's failed presidential  campaign.
As for the outgoing governor, I never envisioned Bobby Jindal as the GOP presidential nominee, but I did think he’d hang on at least until the voting started. But then, I never would have come up with the idea of the kids’ table debates, which kept him off potential voters’ radar.

I was never comfortable with the kiddie table format. And if I had been running things for a lesser known but sincere candidate like, say, Bobhy Jindal, I'd probably feel short changed by it.

 Sure, the oversized Republican field presented a logistical challenge to the news networks carrying the debates. But the kiddie table innovation was an especially poor and lazy solution.  It's true that not all of the candidates were especially serious about wanting to be President.  A lot of them are there to raise money and/or sell books and/or raise their speaking fee asking price. (Huckabee, Carson, Santorum, Christie probably) Others were vanity candidates in other regards. (Graham, Gillmore, maybe even Kasich) One of them was Donald Trump.

But others were actually sincerely attempting to become President.  It's quite obvious that at least Walker, Rubio, Jeb! Cruz, and, yes, Jindal fit this category.  It's a shame the networks took only preliminary polling data into a account when fixing their "tiers."  That decision probably influenced the fate of some campaigns  (including Jindal's) a good deal more than it should have.

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