Bobby Jindal got a good slot in today’s SRLC, and he used to it to tease Republicans over last week’s scandals at the RNC. He kicked off what turned into a good, solid speech with some advice for visiting GOP members. Stay off of Bourbon Street — and away from its strip clubs:
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal opened his address at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference with a joke about the Republican National Committee, quipping that staffers “may want to stay away from Bourbon Street.”
Bourbon Street, of course, is the primary party street in the French Quarter, and it includes a number of strip clubs.
Jindal appeared to be referencing a recent RNC scandal in which nearly $2,000 was charged to the party for an outing to a bondage-themed topless club in West Hollywood.
The Louisiana governor stated at the outset of his comments that he is not running for president in 2012, freeing him up to be straightforward with the conservative activists gathered for the conference.
Jindal made that point clear, although some of the bloggers here are still buzzing about his prospects. The speech he gave was focused on state developments and sound more like a run-up to his 2011 re-election bid. In any case, Jindal will have plenty of opportunity to make a presidential run in the years to come, but he sounded much more focused on Louisiana in the short term.
The speech itself was good, well paced and well received. No one’s going to outdo Sarah Palin for audience reaction, although Rick Perry may come close when he speaks later today. It was a more traditional speech, and for those who still recoil at the memory of Jindal’s response to Barack Obama’s first address to Congress over a year ago, a reminder that Jindal actually does quite well on the stump. He’s entertaining and inspiring, and today was quite relaxed on the dais.
I’m not sure how well the RNC received that jab, but the crowd here did — and it’s interesting that thus far the only speaker that’s significantly tweaked the establishment is someone seen more or less as part of it.