Republican Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal threw down the gauntlet this week when he announced that he has switched positions on his opinion on Common Core standards for education. For those of you who don't have kids, Common Core is basically a Federal standard for what school kids should know at the end of each grade level. This, theoretically, would institute a level educational playing field from one state to the next.
Jindal supported the Common Core standards initially, but is now backing a more conservative approach, saying that the federal government is too involved in the process, and that such matters should be left up to the states.
"[T]he Common Core standards did originally grow from states wanting to increase standards so our students can better compete with the rest of the world," Jindal said in an opinion piece for USA Today. "But a few things have happened along the way. First, the federal government became increasingly involved. Unless you are fighting a war, the kind that requires tanks, submarines and jets, you really don't want the federal government involved."
Jindal's shift was widely seen as a political move to position himself as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.
@BobbyJindal Shame on you for dumping our kids in your desire to be President. You now want to turn Ed back over to the unions?
— Ryan Booth (@brteacher) April 24, 2014
@BobbyJindal I agree about education. When you're president, I hope you'll propose a bill to eliminate the Dept. of Education.
— Phil Collins (@PhilCollinsIL) April 24, 2014
Could Jindal be a contender in the 2016 GOP primary?
The Nation notes that Jindal is serious about running. He has positioned himself to take advantage of the huge vacuum left by Chris Christie falling from favor. He speaks out against President Obama any chance he gets -- which any serious GOP candidate would have to do -- and he hits all the right talking points: slashing entitlements, income tax reform, privatizing Medicare.
It's Thursday morning. Do you know where Bobby Jindal & @sarahhaleyTN are campaigning for president today?
— C.B. Forgotston (@CBForgot) April 24, 2014
As Republicans, we should support Bobby Jindal for President. He might b a lightweight, but we commend his decision to deny help to the poor
— republicanpartytips (@gopguide) April 23, 2014
Jindal jumped into the public eye in 2009 when he was chosen to give the official Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address that year. Those responses seldom have the production values of the SOTU itself. But Jindal caught all manner of flack for his goofy entrance to the podium and over-eager delivery. He was also derided for the resemblance between his demeanor and that of "Kenneth the Page" on the television show 30 Rock.
Thanks to these 2 fluff points, the content of Jindal's remarks went relatively unnoticed. Jindal has largely gone unnoticed outside of Louisiana, but is now assembling the machinery necessary to launch a primary campaign.
Not everyone is happy about that.
— debdlund (@debdlund) April 23, 2014
Image via YouTube