Monday, August 04, 2014

Everybody hates Bobby

Turns out David Vitter and Jay Dardene are pretty comfortable with Common Core.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who is running for governor, wholeheartedly endorsed Common Core on Friday and chided Gov. Bobby Jindal for his political assault on the new academic standards.

“I support the strong standards Louisiana now has in place and think Governor Jindal’s attempt to start from scratch right before the school year is very disruptive,” Vitter said in a prepared statement.

The senator’s comments mean that two of the state’s top leaders, both Republicans, have polar opposite views about the value of the new standards in reading, writing and math.

Jindal wants the state out of Common Core. He is trying to shelve tests planned for the upcoming school year and earlier this year compared the education overhaul to centralized planning in Russia.

But Vitter, who in June declined to spell out his views on the academic goals, endorsed them so strongly on Friday that even Common Core backers were surprised. “As governor I would take an aggressive, hands-on approach, get curriculum and implementation right,” according to the senator’s statement.
Okay fine. The truth about Common Core is that it enjoys fairly solid support among  so-called education reformers and major corporate interests.  In other words, it's a pretty safe thing for Republican candidates to support. But that isn't why Vitter and Dardene are speaking about it publicly.  They're doing that because Bobby Jindal has made a point of opposing any and every initiative he can rhetorically tie to the Obama Administration.

Jindal is running for.. some national office of some sort... and his strategy at this point is to stake out the most irrational Obama hating position in the field.  Any policy rolling out under this administration no matter how mainstream or pro-business conservative (which is the best way to describe Common Core) will be decried as inherently evil.. or at least "Russian" by Jindal.

Vitter and Dardene are running for Governor of Louisiana where it turns out that, yeah,  President Obama is pretty unpopular but so too is Bobby Jindal
PPP's newest Louisiana poll continues to find that Bobby Jindal is among the least popular Governors in the country, and that there is minimal support for him running for President even in his home state. Only 32% of voters approve of the job Jindal is doing to 56% who disapprove. Among Republicans his numbers are relatively tepid (57/33 approval). His numbers with independents pretty closely mirror his overall ones (32/57), and support from Democrats is virtually nonexistent (12/75).
So while Jindal might find it to his advantage to run a campaign against Obama, candidates for statewide office are just as well incentivized to run against Jindal. Add to that the well known animosity Dardene and Vitter harbor toward Jindal and you can see how taking a swipe at him here is pretty much a no brainer.

Stephanie Grace gets most of this right in this column except for one critical thing.
The upshot is that, once the race for governor really gets going, Common Core may turn out to be much less divisive an issue than it is today. Just as all three active candidates have signaled their willingness to at least consider accepting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion — something else that Jindal adamantly opposes — all appear bent on looking for a way to stick with the state-developed national standards, even if they throw a few bones to those agitating for a Louisiana-only plan.

If so, chalk it up as yet another sign that the powers-that-be in both parties are just waiting for Jindal to take his national ambitions and get out of the way — and are ready to get down to the serious business of running Louisiana once he does.
David Vitter and Jay Dardene are "ready to get down to the serious business of running Louisiana"?   Gods preserve us if this is true. 

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